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Why hiring a TV More than a decade after retail guru hasn’t launching BigBarn, its founder been enough to is trialling Ocado-style save Britain’s direct deliveries high streets

DELI OF THE MONTH 52 At Epicerie Ludo, Ludovic Piot has resisted creating a little bit of France in Manchester April 2014 · Vol 15 Issue 3

IN FROM THE COLD With the weather turning warmer, it’s time to think summer ices CHEF’S SELECTION 47 At Wilks Restaurant in Bristol, chef-patron James Wilkins keeps Valrhona chocolate nibs, Infinity Foods French-style lentils and Opies pickled walnuts in his larder

THE FLAME GAME 37 Get properly organised for the barbecue season and summer could be as important for your sales as Christmas


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BAGS OF INSPIRATION BE INSPIRED AT THE HARROGATE SPECIALITY FOOD SHOW: • Great Taste judging – come and see how our judging process works •D  eliciouslyorkshire @ Harrogate Speciality Food Show – a meet the producer event • Source new specialities to refresh your range • Taste rival brands and compare prices • Meet producers face to face and learn more about the products you stock • Benefit from exclusive show offers • Gain expert business advice and support • Take part in seminars and tutored tastings in the Fine Food Live theatre • Watch suppliers pitch to big-name food buyers in our live Feed The Dragon sessions • Benefit from easy access and free parking at the Yorkshire Event Centre

‘‘I enjoyed meeting so many great producers and the show was very useful for me - I made several fantastic contacts. Thanks for letting me join the fun.’’ John David Harmon, Speciality Coordinator, Whole Foods Market


Getting it right in December can save your year. Come and learn how you can crack Christmas trading from two retailers who have over 20 years between them. Monday 23 June 10.30 – 2pm Hall 2 £45 + VAT Book your place TODAY 01747 825200

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Delis, Farmshop, Foodhalls, Garden Centres, Pubs & restaurants, Hotels, Cafes & coffee shops, Butchers, Bakers, High-end grocers, Heritage & gift shops

This is a trade show. Students by prior arrangement only.



What’s new this month:


anyone stupid enough to shop in a high street rather than an outof-town supermarket where the parking’s free. In 2012, Cornwall Council BOB FARRAND recorded the 12th largest parking surplus in the country and recently placed Liskeard butcher Andy Blackwell on its ‘cautionary contacts For years I thought being chief list’, an internal document designed executive of a big supermarket to prevent risk to council employees. would be a doddle. His crime was to use a megaphone All you did was blackmail to warn motorists parked on the producers into supplying food for a high street of approaching traffic gnat’s smidgen more than it costs wardens. Liskeard is a Portas Pilot to make, bribe local authorities with town. a new roundabout or skate park so You may be moved to rip large you can build giant stores a mile tufts of hair from your head on from town centres, then pay your reading on p4 how local authorities shop-floor staff less than a living amassing fat profits from parking wage. I could do that. show a little less enthusiasm for In return, you get a big juicy helping struggling high streets. salary, undying adulation from city Eighteen fat-cats and a months down mention in the For three decades the line, a Honours list after supermarket bosses miserly 12% of a lifetime selling had an easy ride. Now the £1.2 million cheap food to they’re deserting in granted to the poor people. 12 original Portas For three droves and those who decades, haven’t bottled out will Towns has been spent and much supermarket surely be evicted. of that appears bosses have had to have been an easy ride. squandered on administration, More recently, Waitrose, Aldi and marketing and staff. Lidl apart, profits are tumbling and Why are we even surprised? panic has set in. The BBC reported that in 10 of the Like the captain of an Italian 12 towns, more shops closed than cruise ship, they’re deserting in opened. droves and those who haven’t The good news is Louisiana bottled out will surely be evicted if State University revealed that high sales don’t improve – with a few quality bitter dark chocolate is good million in their pocket to ease the for us – it reduces blood pressure. pain. Shame the supermarkets only sell Perhaps I should run a local the cheap stuff, their bosses could authority instead. According to the do with a chunk right now. RAC Foundation, 359 councils in England made a profit of £365m from on- and off-street parking in Bob Farrand is publisher of Fine Food 2011-12. Digest and chairman of the Guild of How easy is that? Simply fine Fine Food



p32 p34




Tel: 01747 825200 Fax: 01747 824065

Editor: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Michael Lane News editor: Patrick McGuigan Art director: Mark Windsor Editorial production: Richard Charnley Contributors: Clare Hargreaves, Lynda Searby

ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey, Ruth Debnam Published by Great Taste Publications Ltd and the Guild of Fine Food Ltd Chairman/publisher: Bob Farrand Managing director/associate publisher: John Farrand Director/membership secretary: Linda Farrand Marketing & circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates, Karen Price Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance, Vicky Missen

Guild of Fine Food, Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £45pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Blackmore, Dorset, UK



Editor’s choice

Selected by Mick Whitworth

Scarlett & Mustard curd range

About 18 months back I was tipped off that East Anglian newcomer Scarlett & Mustard was a brand to watch. I now know why: the tipper-offer worked in the multiple-award-winning preserves business that, it turns out, is making this rather excellent range of curds on Scarlett & Mustard’s behalf. (If I revealed who they were, they'd have to drive all the way to Devon to kill me.) S&M’s upside-down labelling will either turn you on or drive you nuts, but if you like it, rest assured the curd is excellent. My choice: blackcurrant & star anise.

© Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2014. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.

For regular news updates from the industry's favourite magazine visit:

p45 Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


fine food news Throwing ‘paltry sums’ at a few towns was never going to work, says campaigner Paul Turner-Mitchell

Much-hyped High Street plan fails to deliver the goods By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Government plans to regenerate struggling High Streets are in tatters after it was revealed that towns have barely spent any of the money awarded to them under the muchheralded Mary Portas scheme. Information gathered by retail campaigner and North West shop owner Paul Turner-Mitchell showed the 12 original Portas Pilot towns, which received around £100,000 each to improve their high streets, had spent only £136,000 or 12% of the combined £1.1m allocation. This despite the money being awarded more than 18 months ago. Meanwhile, 11 of the 15 Portas Pilot towns, awarded £1.9m in a second round of government funding, had spent just £693,000 (35%) of their combined budget with the majority going on administrative, marketing and staff costs. Initiatives included a gorilla statue in Tiverton, which cost £3,800, £150 giftwrapping classes in Rotherham and Portas banners in Braintree that cost £2,110. The findings came at the same time as a scathing report from MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills committee looking at the retail sector, which criticised the government for not having a proper grip on how taxpayers’ money was being spent. “The government allocated £2.3 million to fund the Portas Pilots, yet has not been able to provide evidence of how or indeed whether that money has been spent by local authorities,” said the report. Deli owners in towns that have been awarded Portas funding said that they had seen little concrete action to improve the high street. “I haven’t noticed any changes in the town centre,” said one shopkeeper in Leamington, Warwickshire. “If anything, trading has got worse.” Iain Thompson of the Deli Shack in Tiverton, Devon, echoed these comments. “There is no sense that the town has suddenly become a regenerated, thrusting place – it’s much of a muchness,” he said. Paul Turner-Mitchell, who worked with fellow retail campaigner Bill Grimsey on an alternative high street report last year, said: “These are supposed to be pilots but they are not blazing a trail of innovation and they are not having a really meaningful impact. “Throwing paltry sums of money


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

at a few towns without addressing the key structural issues, like business rates, was never going to arrest long term decline.” The problems that have beset the Portas scheme have prompted the government to launch yet another initiative, this time headed by Costa coffee MD Jason Cotta, with Mary Portas taking a back seat. At a meeting of the Future High Street Forum in January, chaired by high streets minister Brandon Lewis, Cotta presented a report pulling together information gathered from various high street regeneration groups. This will be used as the basis for a rescue plan for town centres, detailing “common factors for success”, which can be replicated nationwide. The plan will be tested at nine towns starting in May.

DROP THE PILOT: Mary Portas will be taking a back seat in the Government’s next ‘rescue plan’ for High Streets

‘Expectations have been too high’ The owner of local food shop Greens of Lincolnshire in the Portas Pilot town of Market Rasen says the scheme has helped improve the town centre, but expectations were too high. Maria Pemberton took over Greens (pictured) last June after it had originally been set up as a community shop by the Market Rasen Business Improvement Group, the town team behind the Portas Pilot. She says the group has done a lot to attract shoppers to the town centre, including investing in hanging baskets and signage, organising a monthly food market and launching a ‘buy local’ campaign. “They have done a fantastic job raising the town’s profile but there is only so much you can do to attract shoppers beyond bussing them in,” she said. “Expectations have been too high. £100,000 doesn’t go a long way.” According to the recent BIS committee report, the town has only spent around a third of the £99,000 it was awarded 18 months ago.

Indie trade groups must pool strengths, says IRC The head of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) says small stores must work together rather than relying on government to ‘save’ the high street. Chair Mark Walmsley is currently working on initiatives to help develop skills and improve the quality of retailing among IRC members. The organisation brings together trade associations representing 100,000 independent retailers from different sectors, including the Guild of Fine Food. “The retail market has become far more sophisticated in the past 10 years and has naturally left some indies behind because they haven’t got the financial strength or a co-ordinating body,” he said. “Most of our trade associations are doing the same things. We have specialisations within our sectors but many of the activities are the same. If we can share common ground – whether that’s resources, knowledge, programmes or schemes – we can speed up what we’re doing, make better use of our resources and deliver retail support.” The IRC has already developed a pensions service that can be used by all independent retail associations, while a political monitoring service and mobilebased loyalty programme are due to be launched this month. Walmsley is also in the process of setting up a free web portal where independents can promote their businesses and engage with consumers. Mark Walmsley: ‘Share resources’

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Slow Food UK switches to regional structure as chief exec moves on Slow Food UK has undergone a restructure following the departure of chief executive Catherine Gazzoli and most of its central management team. The move sees the creation of new regional Slow Food bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. Gazzoli, a well-connected onetime United Nations sustainable development consultant, had been Slow Food UK’s CEO since 2009. She relaunched the organisation, soon after joining, in a high-profile event at the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove organic estate. She left in February to chair the Food Education Foundation, a charity supporting food education initiatives that is linked to the National Childbirth Trust. She had just returned to work from maternity leave. Katharina Augustin, who

Catherine Gazzoli has left to chair the Food Education Foundation

spearheaded Slow Food’s Forgotten Foods campaign, is joining Gazzoli to work on the scheme, while Nathalie Nötzold, who ran the organisation’s Chef Alliance and Slow Food Week, will leave this month. The departures leave Colin Bom, formerly commercial and operations manager, as acting chief executive of Slow Food UK. It will continue to

run the UK-wide Chef Alliance and the Forgotten Foods programme, which is part of the international Ark of Taste initiative to protect small-scale local foods at risk of disappearing. However, it will also be joined by three new regional Slow Food organisations, representing England, Scotland and Wales. The new structure was voted for at Slow Food UK’s Annual General Meeting in London last month. The changes will enable Slow Food Scotland and Slow Food Wales to apply for funding for projects from the devolved assemblies, while also giving a greater voice to members in different localities. The Slow Food UK board will include two representatives from Slow England and one each from Scotland and Wales.

Farm shops face sharp cut in number of skilled butchers By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Farm shops are facing a shortage of skilled butchery staff as fewer young people enter the industry and the current generation of butchers nears retirement. According to the Meat Crusade, a group that campaigns on behalf of high street butchers and is encouraging more people to take up the trade, the average age of a butcher is now 50, with around two out of three businesses facing succession problems. Meanwhile, the butchery department at Leeds City College, one

of the largest in the country, has seen a marked reduction in applications despite the meat industry being desperate for new entrants. The dearth of skilled butchers is starting to have an effect on farm shops, where the meat counter is often an important driver of footfall. “I was at a recent farm shop conference and everyone was saying how hard it was to recruit and hold on to really good butchers,” said Jane Thornber, general manager of Harrogate farm shop Fodder. “Young people don’t even consider it as a career anymore. It’s just not

IN BRIEF l Italian ingredient supplier Donatantonio is set to launch its first branded retail range. The five-strong Lupetta range will be pitched at independent retailers and includes tinned San Marzano Tomatoes and ’Nduja paste.

l Daylesford Organic’s CEO Jamie Mitchell has left the business after four years in charge and has been replaced by Nick Fletcher, previously financial director. Mitchell joined Daylesford from Innocent Drinks, where he was MD. He announced plans to open a string of smaller convenience store-style Daylesford shops immediately after being appointed but these never came to fruition. Daylesford, which has farm shops in Gloucestershire, London, the south of England and Japan, reported losses of £2.9m on sales of £11.8m for the year ending 31 December 2012.

l Sussex-based Roundstone Farm

on their radar.” Fodder has trained its own apprentices in conjunction with Leeds City College in recent years with trainees attending college one day a week and working full time at the shop the rest of the time. Farmer and meat wholesaler John Penny, who founded the Meat Crusade, said: “It is a great time for young people to consider a career within the meat industry. There are colleges appealing for students to enrol in butchery training courses and the industry is crying out for successors.”

Shop and Garden Centre has closed down, blaming competition from the supermarkets. John Hickling, who took over the shop four years ago, said the business could not attract enough customers and had been “battered” by the supermarkets. The farm will continue to offer ‘pick your own’ and car boot sales during the summer.

l Gloucester Services on the M5 has appointed Gavin Bastyan from contract catering firm Baxterstorey to head the business. The new services are a sister project to Tebay Services in Cumbria on the M6 and will provide a share of site sales to charity. The company is looking to employ around 150 people and is currently recruiting chefs, butchers and bakers.

l Drewton’s Farm Shop near Hull


served up a six-course ice cream meal last month in conjunction with Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream from Denby Dale. The event was designed to showcase ice cream as an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.

For regular news updates from FFD visit: With fewer young people in training, the average age of a butcher is now 50 Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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Speciality Food Charity Ball

Hosted by Paul Hargreaves Founder & MD of Cotswold Fayre

FRIDAY 4TH JULY 2014 We would like to invite you to join us in raising funds to support two very worthy causes, Bala Children’s Centre in Kenya and local Berkshire charity Daisy’s Dream. This event is a superb networking opportunity for anyone in the speciality food world. If you would like details of available sponsorship packages or to reserve tickets please contact

Please visit for more information


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Folkington’s Juices, The Workshop, Endlewick House, Arlington, East Sussex BN26 6RU 01323 485602

fine food news Deli-kitchen operators face fines of £000s if they ignore allergen info rules

Allergen rules will ‘hit some people like a tonne of bricks’

Yorkshire cheesemonger The Courtyard Dairy (pictured) – winner of both Britain’s Best Cheese Counter and Britain’s Best Cheesemonger at last November’s World Cheese Awards – is in the running for another national title next month. The business, run by Andy Swinscoe, is among those shortlisted for Best Food Retailer in this year’s BBC Food & Farming Awards, alongside Veasey Fishmonger in East Sussex and Wirral butcher Edge & Son. Winners in 10 categories will be announced in May. Among those contesting the Best Food Producer award are Dorset charcutier Capreolus Fine Foods, Abernethy Butter from Co Down and Scottish smokery Gigha Halibut. Breweries Thornbridge and BrewDog and Kent-based winery Gusbourne Estate will fight for the Best Drink Producer title while The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Co, which also has a retail range, is among the shortlisted businesses in the Best Street Food category.


Lindsey McManus of Allergy UK: ‘Be careful with bought-in ingredients’

“These can contain things like fish, celery and garlic, but it’s not always clear, she said. “Whether you put information on the menu, on a poster or in a database that can be referenced by staff and conveyed verbally, allergen information must be clear and easy to access for consumers.” At the Suffolk Food Hall, menus already contain a message telling customers they can ask about allergens. “Our staff are pretty good at knowing what goes into a dish and can ask the chef if they are not sure, but our compliance officer will be making sure we fully conform with the new legislation,” said coowner Oliver Paul.

If I'd known then what I know now...

EU’s 14 TOP ALLERGENS Eggs Molluscs Crustaceans Celery Milk Fish Treenuts Sulphites Soya Sesame Peanuts Mustard Lupin Gluten

Roman Ivaschenko /

Fine food retailers that operate cafés or make their own food to sell in store must comply with new allergen information laws or face big fines. Under new EU legislation coming into effect in December, caterers must be able to provide customers with detailed information about whether dishes contain any of the EU’s top 14 allergens. They must also make it clear to customers that allergen information is available. Businesses that do not comply could face thousands of pounds of fines. According to Liz Allen, founder of Allergy Aware Kitchen, which provides allergen awareness training, many independent businesses are unaware of the impending changes. “It’s going to hit some people like a tonne of bricks,” she said. “It takes time to put systems in place, so foodservice operators need to be doing something about it now.” Allen said deli and farm shop owners must know exactly which ingredients have gone into a dish or homemade product and be able to provide that information when a customer asks. “Businesses need to identify where allergens might be and then draw up a master recipe sheet that can be easily checked,” she said. Lindsey McManus, deputy CEO of allergen charity Allergy UK, said caterers should be particularly careful with bought-in ingredients, such as seasonings and stocks.

Our business is all about four key products – cheese, charcuterie, beer and wine – and I wish I’d just kept my focus from the beginning. People are now coming to us from Clapham and East Dulwich because Manish Utton-Mishra we’ve got a reputation for being Good Taste Food & Drink, Crystal Palace, London a specialist. One of the most important the other way. We’re only 440 sq ft We started the shop three years things I’ve learned is about margins. and gave part of the shop over to ago on £37,000, which is next to We weren’t really bold enough a coffee concession with about 10 nothing for a business like this. I when it came to pricing in the covers. It was run by local coffee wish we’d had more money, beginning, but of course once roaster Volcano, who make really but at same time I’m glad we you’ve set your prices you can’t gorgeous, stunning coffee, but didn’t because we made do with just ramp them up in one go. We it just wasn’t making any money. what we had and it made us more had to put them up a little bit at a People preferred the Caffe Neros of creative. time, which took about year. My the world, so we called it a day after We bought job lots of old accountant said that if we’d been nine months. Volcano didn’t mind antique fruit crates on eBay that brave enough to put on the kind because they weren’t making any we piled on top of each other and of margins we make now from the money either. screwed to the wall. I paid £150 beginning we could per pallet from a farm in Normandy, so we did the shelving for almost People preferred the Caffe Neros have broken even or made a profit in nothing. of the world, so we called it a day year one. A lot of delis say they wished with our coffee concession after We’ve put quite they’d put more of a café element nine months a few prices up this into their business, but we went

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BBC announces awards shortlist

year, but people don’t seem to mind. With booze we aim for 40% margin and cheese varies from 30% to 70%, depending on what I think customers are willing to pay. Overall, we average around 50%, which sounds quite high, but I think we’re just being realistic and we still offer good value. What really helped was investing in a proper EPoS system. We started with a horrible £35 till, which was a real bugger to use. If you kept your finger on a button for too long you’d end up putting two numbers in by mistake – the till would always be out at the end of the day. We bought our EPOS system in March 2012 and now we can look at stock data and sales reports whenever we want. I should have done it much earlier. It’s given me a much better grip on margins. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


fine food news Funding bodies line up to back first Harris distillery By MICK WHITWORTH

Highlands & Islands Enterprise has awarded a £900,000 grant towards the building of the first whisky distillery on the Isle of Harris. A new business, Isle of Harris Distillers, has raised around £10 million in total from public and private investors to fund the development, in the ferry port of Tarbert. It is expected to create up to 20 jobs in the longer term. A new single malt, named The Hearach – the Gaelic for an inhabitant of the Outer Hebridean island – will be distilled, bottled and matured at the new site. Building is due to be completed early in 2015, although the first bottles of The Hearach will not be available for several years. Only the second distillery in the Outer Hebrides, it will produce around 300,000 bottles of single malt whisky each year, along with a Harris gin. The project has also received a

£1.9 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Food Processing, Marketing & Cooperation scheme, and further support from Scottish Enterprise. Isle of Harris Distillers was the brainchild of Anderson Bakewell, an American-born musicologist with lifelong connections to the island, but other members of his team have

strong credentials in distilling. Directors include Simon Erlanger, who held senior roles with Diageo and Glenmorangie, and Ron MacEachran, a former Whyte & Mackay chief financial officer. General manager Alison Mackinnon is an ex-Diageo malting expert.

Blacker Hall named best farm shop

LONDON CALLING: After four years at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, the World Cheese Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is moving to London for 2014. The competition, which attracted around 2,700 entries in 2013, will take place at the BBC Good Food Show, Olympia, on November 14, with extra features – including seminars, a World Cheese Deli and ‘cheese tours’ conducted by BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden – continuing throughout the show until November 16. Guild managing director John Farrand said its partnership with BBC Good Food had been a “major success”, contributing to a rise in international entries, but the move would help keep the competition fresh. The continued relationship with BBC would guarantee significant media coverage, he added, while the London venue would be popular with overseas judges. The WCAs attract more international entries than any other cheese competition.


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Laverstoke wins Hants Fare gong for beef biltong

Blacker Hall Farm Shop owners Edward and Cheryl Garthwaite (below) paid tribute to shoppers and staff after the Wakefield business was named Britain’s best farm shop. The Calder Grove company won the Farm Retailer of the Year title at the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) annual awards. Cheryl Garthwaite said: “Over three-quarters of all the products we sell are either made or prepared on-site, supplemented by local, seasonal and fresh produce from the Wakefield area, Yorkshire and the North-East.” FARMA is under new management after Michael Mack of land agency and farm consultancy Smiths Gore won the three-year contract to run the body at the end of last year. www. blackerhall farmshop.

A beef biltong from Laverstoke Park Farm topped the charcuterie section in this year’s Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition, organised by county food group Hampshire Fare. Laverstoke is owned by Jody Scheckter, the former Formula 1 champion who – like biltong – hails from South Africa. But according to FFD editor Mick Whitworth, who cojudged the section with charcuterie expert Marc-Frederic Berry, the winning entry had a distinctly British flavour, with a softer, moister texture and a good layer of beef fat. It is the second year that the awards – designed to support Hampshire’s butchers and meat producers – have included a specific category for charcuterie. Marc-Frederic Berry, who has worked with Hampshire Fare to train a number of the county’s pig farmers and butchers in charcuterie production, said the standard of entries had risen steeply in the space of 12 months. The Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition – sponsored by BPEX, Lucas Ingredients and Dalziel, and supported by the New Forest Marque – attracted 196 entries from 29 butchers and producers. Other winning products included a goats’ cheese & watercress sausage from Greenfield Pork Products of Andover, a traditional pork pie from Crow Farm Shop in Ringwood and home-cured bacon from Newlyn’s Farm in North Warnborough.

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Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


fine food news new openings

Opening or expanding a shop? Email details to

Brighton is just the start for ethical supermarket

At a glance l HiSbe is a Community Interest Company, a legal structure which means it operates as a commercial business but with a social purpose. The company raised £30,000 through a Buzzbnk crowdfunding campaign, which saw people investing in return for vouchers that are redeemable in the shop.

l Ruth Anslow worked for 14 years as a brand and marketing manager for large brands such as Radox and Ambi Pur. Amy Anslow founded a business called Coffee with a Conscience – a communityto-community direct trade coffee initiative.

l Suppliers include Suma, Infinity

HiSbe (‘How it Should be’) founders, Ruth and Amy Anslow, are planning to roll out their ethical concept

Ethical supermarket HiSbe plans to roll out other branches across the South East after opening its first shop in Brighton. Founders and sisters Ruth and Amy Anslow raised £200,000 through crowdfunding, bank loans and private investors to finance the new business, which aims to make locally sourced and sustainable food more affordable. Body Shop co-founder Gordon Roddick has invested £20,000 in HiSbe, which stands for ‘how it Should be’, and its founders are

already looking for a second site in the city in June before opening further outlets across the region. Ruth Anslow told FFD that the business aimed to provide a genuine alternative to the major multiples, “tipping good food into the mainstream”, while still being competitive on price. “People think that supermarkets are cheaper, but that is not always the case,” she said. “We are a social enterprise. We are not trying to make as much money as possible to please shareholders, so we don’t put massive

margins on products. It means a lot of our products are much cheaper than those in supermarkets.” The retailer has been highlighting this regularly on Twitter with products such as bunched beetroot (£1.15 per kg, £3.14 at Asda) and organic parsnips (£1.95 per kg, £3.40 in Sainsbury’s). Prices are also kept down by cutting back on packaging. Fruit and veg is sold loose, while pasta, sugar and rice are stocked in dispensers for decanting into customers’ own containers.


Charlotte’s Fine Foods

supermarkets, such as tea from Tottenham-based Tea Studio and Devon’s Portlebay Popcorn. Fresh products, including bread from Flour Power City, charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon and eggs from Havensfield Farm, are also a feature, aimed at people who want to pick up something for dinner on their way home from work. “Securing finance was a challenge, even with a sound plan and support from the bank manager,” said Bowers. “Being young and not having a track record of running a business raises red flags in the automated systems banks use to review loan applications and these can be impossible to overcome.”



The farm shop is relocating from its current site in Studham to new premises in Pepperstock on the outskirts of Luton, near junction 10 of the M1. The new shop, set to open in May, will incorporate a coffee shop and adjoining welcome lounge, which will be used for promotions, artisan food demonstrations, craft fairs and tastings. The company has also opened a new butchery unit and production kitchen in Leighton Buzzard. It will supply the farm shop with meat, pies, puddings and prepared meals fresh each day.


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Islington, London

Young entrepreneur Charlotte Bowers has launched a deli specialising in British food and drink close to Angel in Islington. The 25-year-old former strategy consultant raised funds for the new shop through friends and family after struggling to secure backing from banks. The shop focuses on products that you can’t find in the

Foods, High Weald Dairy, Rude Health and Fish4Ever. The shop houses a small bar serving Cafedirect coffee, cakes and sandwiches, while two ‘pods’ at the back of the store can be rented by local street food operators, who sell takeaway hot food.

The business is already breaking even; 59p in every pound spent in the shop goes to its suppliers and 27p is spent on staff wages. “The Brighton store is a pilot and, once we’ve learned from it, we plan to open others in areas where local communities want us,” she said. “It’s the opposite of the supermarkets who seem to impose themselves on local communities.”

Rosewood Hotel Holborn, London

Restaurateur Des McDonald has opened a British deli adjoining his new restaurant at the Rosewood London hotel in Holborn. The deli opens directly onto High Holborn and sells a range of takeaway sandwiches, cakes and coffees, plus British products, including bread, charcuterie, cheese and groceries.

Discover our exciting range of tea, coffee and hot chocolate Winners of 14 Gold Great Taste Awards in 2013 A comprehensive range of Whittard products is now available through Cotswold Fayre Whittard. Tea And Coffee Passion, since 1886 1



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Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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April 2014 路 Vol.15 Issue 3

fine food news Event showcases organic makers as the sector sees sales increase across the board

Soil Association: cheese can lead organic revival in indies By MICHAEL LANE

The Soil Association is backing organic cheese to make a comeback in the counters of independent retailers following a successful promotional event and figures showing a rise in sales across the UK. Speaking to FFD exclusively at the inaugural Organic Cheese Showcase last month, Soil Association trade consultant Finn Cottle said that cheese would have an important role to play as sales of organic food and drink emerged from a four-year slump [see below]. “The amount of space given to some products in shops has contracted and we’re very clear that cheese is one of those product areas that has suffered in the last four years,” she said. “Not because consumers haven’t been buying it but because it hasn’t been given enough credibility and impact on the shelf. “We truly want to make sure that there are more of these cheeses out there. “We’re confident that when it’s on the shelf or on the counter,

Finn Cottle urged retailers to reassess their organic cheese offer

customers will actually pick it up.” Cottle said that organic cheese has been “forgotten” as other trends, such as regional and local, took over the shelf and counter space in independents. “Independents should reassess what’s out there,” she said. “We

have got more than 70 cheeses here, ranging from hard to mozzarella, soft cheeses to washed rind cheeses and aged cheddars.” In total, 16 producers exhibited their cheeses to trade buyers at the event held on March 6 at Winkworth Farm near Malmesbury. Producers included Hafod cheddar-maker Holden Farm Dairy, Caws Cenarth, buffalo specialist Laverstoke Park, Simon Weaver, High Weald Dairy and Gorsehill Abbey. Cottle said that the Soil Association was looking into compiling a list of organic cheeses available and distributing it to independents as well as helping the 16 producers with buying contacts and advising on new product development. She added that the association would be refocusing its retailer toolkits in September and urged retailers interested in stocking more organic food to get involved in the promotional activities scheduled for that month.

And the winners are… A number of prize-winners were announced at the Soil Association’s Organic Cheese Showcase, including the winners of the inaugural Dougall Campbell bursary. Three bursaries of £1,000 were awarded to producers Coulton Mill, Cream O’Galloway and Nettlebed Creamery to support the creation of new cheeses made with sustainably farmed milk. The bursary was created, together with the Specialist Cheesemakers' Association, in memory of the founder of the first organic cheese-making company, Welsh Organic Foods. Two cheeses were also crowned Best in Show. Stiltonmaker Cropwell Bishop was named best non-hard cheese while Wyke Farms’ organic mature cheese won best hard cheese.

Organic report reveals upswing By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Among the cheese-makers showcased by the Soil Association was Cropwell Bishop

After years of falling sales, organic food bounced back last year, led by independent retailers such as farm shops and urban grocers. According to the Soil Association’s 2014 Organic Market Report, sales of organic food and drink increased by 2.8% in 2013 – the first rise in sales after four years of decline. The revival was spearheaded by independent retailers, including online shopping, homedelivery box schemes, farm shops and specialist stores, which saw sales grow by 6.9% The independent sector is now valued at £513 million with homedelivery specialists and large retailers in urban areas performing best of all. Planet Organic increased organic sales through its six London stores by 14% last year and predicts even higher growth in 2014, while the Better Food Company and Unicorn Grocery, in Bristol and Manchester, respectively, both achieved double-digit growth. The horsemeat controversy last spring helped organic beef sales, said the report, and prompted renewed interest in a wider range of organic foods, but a Soil Association survey of independent retailers found that new product development and increased marketing were the biggest factors in growing sales. “To see the organic market showing such strong signs of growth, particularly when grocery sales as a whole are slowing, shows just how much potential there is in the organic sector,” said Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification. “The message to supermarkets and other retailers and organic businesses is clear: if you make organic goods available and promote them well, consumers will respond by continuing to purchase the products they have confidence in.” Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


fine food news

Virtually a retailer Interview

For over a decade Anthony Davison and his website have been on a mission to get people out of the supermarkets and shopping locally. MICHAEL LANE finds the BigBarn founder full of ideas for the future, both off- and online.


hen I pull up at BigBarn’s HQ near Huntingdon in the Cambridgeshire countryside there isn’t any sign of the eponymous farm building. Instead, I’m greeted by one man – founder Anthony Davison – and his dog bounding across the gravel. The situation rather fits the stereotype of a web-based business, although BigBarn has been promoting local food for over 10 years in anything but a typical way. “Our mission is to get people out of the supermarket and shopping locally,” says Davison of his website, which provides consumers with details of their local producers and independent retailers as well as a platform for online shopping. With around 2,500 visitors to


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

the site each day and new initiatives and services in the pipeline, BigBarn is very different from the concept Davison first dreamt up more than a decade ago. “I’m a fifth generation farmer. My family produce onions in Norfolk and every year we get about £120/ tonne for them and two days later they’re on the Tesco shelves at about £850/tonne,” he says. The injustice in British farming, not to mention a hatred of driving tractors, convinced Davison to do an MBA in the late ‘90s. His dissertation project was a feasibility study for a shop in the farm’s – you guessed it – big barn. “In the area, there were five villages that had lost their shops, there were loads of producers who were getting very little for their products and I read a statistic that

said 80% of people wanted to buy local food, so I thought I would set up a farm shop,” he says. Sadly, the council didn’t agree and refused planning but when someone pointed out that it would be a good name for a website, Davison set about developing He has since set the business up as a Community Interest Company, which legally obliges him to reinvest profits and binds him to a 10-year plan to support local food. At the website’s core is an interactive online map, which allows consumers to locate producers and independent food retailers that are registered within their vicinity. In total, there are 6,500 icons, which vary depending on what the supplier offers. Around 1,000 of these suppliers pay a membership,

giving them access to more than just a basic listing. Butchers and farm shops are the most frequently occurring icons but Big Barn also lists delis, bakeries, nurseries and even bed & breakfasts that do local food, as well as numerous producers. “We want people to go to the map first to see what’s in their area, move their cursor over each icon to see who’s doing what and then go there,” says Davison. If consumers haven’t got time to physically visit somewhere, he says, then they can buy online through the site’s MarketPlace, a self-styled “Amazon of local food”, which has over 500 suppliers selling through it. Davison acknowledges the inconvenience and cost to consumers of placing multiple orders with

retailers running Crop for the Shop habits “is a hell of a lot more than are marked on the map. a click”, Davison thinks there is an Another icon visitors might opportunity for those looking to notice when studying the map is the compete for footfall. £ sign. While this denotes another “I went to a supermarket and BigBarn initiative (‘Cheaper than the saw a sign that said ‘One for £1 or supermarkets’), farm shop pricing is Two for £2’. I was so insulted they an area that Davison feels the need thought I was that stupid that I to address, regardless of BigBarn ripped it down,” he says. membership. “That’s the kind of thing He says a lot of farm shops fall they do and, to me, that reeks of into the trap of raising their prices complacency.” incrementally because their richer While Davison’s ultimate goal is clientele are willing to pay. creating the “definitive database” by Aside from “buggering it up” adding even more icons to the map, for farm shops that set prices to improving those that are already compete with the multiples, Davison present is also priority. says these retailers are just swapping There are a number of average spend for volume of opportunities that Davison urges customers. retailers to take up in order to “It’s a real shame because I encourage trade. think farm shops have the power The simplest option is to create to pull in a lot of local produce for promotions and offers, which can a reasonable price and sell it for a then be broadcast to the 18,000 or reasonable price and undercut the so consumers already registered with supermarket on quite a few things,” the site to receive postcode-specific he says. newsletters. “They should Davison I went to a supermarket be seriously is also a big trying to do advocate of using and saw a sign that said video, so retailers ‘One for £1 or Two for £2’. that wherever possible. Those and producers That’s the kind of thing that don’t can tell those they do and, to me, that are making a visiting the site reeks of complacency. mistake.” what to expect Davison when they visit in does truly person. believe that most categories can “The great thing about video is be covered using “local” suppliers. that people love the story of food He says retailers shouldn’t get too and there’s not a better way to get hung up on a strict definition and it across,” he says, citing examples should source from the next county like a butcher talking an audience if they can’t find something on the through different cuts of meat or a doorstep. With the way the British farm shop giving a virtual tour of its food and drink is headed – he is shelves. enthusiastic in his praise for the “People perceive farm shops to boom in cheese, charcuterie and be a luxury and an expensive place sparkling wine production – Davison to shop. They want to know what doesn’t see why there couldn’t, one they can buy there,” he says. “Over day, be a small dairy every 10 miles the course of this video, the owner or so, getting a fair price for single can say ‘Most of our veg is cheaper herd milk. than the supermarket and fresher. If having all these ideas on Most of our meat comes from local the go wasn’t enough, Davison people, we can help you choose the has yet more on the way. As well right piece’. If people see that before as developing a probiotic drink they even come, you’ve almost won for commercial sale, he wants them as a regular customer.” to improve BigBarn’s cookery TV Another more low-tech scheme channel to encourage more people that Davison is encouraging retailers to cook with simple, local ingredients to take up is called Crop for the and also host an online forum for Shop. It works on the premise that farm shops to share ideas. customers supply their own homeWhile other partners can grown produce for retailers to sell in currently host the map and their shop from a dedicated fixture. MarketPlace on their own sites, These customers get credit to spend Davison is now looking to take Big in the shop while the shop gets a Barn one step further. steady supply of vegetables. “Our problem has always been “It’s great for the shop because that we’re a national company they’ve got loads of product on sale trying to be local. And the way or return,” he says. “They don’t have to be local – we’re looking at this to rely on a wholesaler to bring them now – is to re-brand Big Barn for supplies and they don’t have any anyone who wants to set it up in waste.” their area.” Davison is currently seeking That virtual barn is certainly a seed sponsor so retailers can going to get bigger. encourage growers by handing out free packets of seeds. Of course,

Anthony Davison’s BigBarn helps consumers to find their nearest independent food suppliers, buy local goods online and even teaches them how to cook

different suppliers but is hoping his latest venture will improve on this. Next month, BigBarn is piloting a direct to consumer delivery service in the Bath and Bristol area, in partnership with a company called Equilibrium Markets. The system will allow consumers in the area to shop online for products, from around 100 local producers who all deliver to a central warehouse. Deliveries are then made from that warehouse straight to shoppers’ homes. Davison admits that getting this Ocado-style service off the ground will be “incredibly difficult” – Equilibrium is not expecting to make a profit for nearly two years – in the face of supermarkets’ vast ranges and availability. He is also aware that some independent retailers may feel it will

eat into their share of the market. “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs,” he says. “There will be a few people who might get annoyed but what we’re saying is this is a service to accompany all our other services to try and get that 80% of people, who do shop in the supermarkets, out of the supermarkets.” The proof, he adds, will come in the form of increased clicks on retailers’ icons on the map. Davison also points out that the supermarkets’ attempts to force the weekly shop online should actually play into independents’ hands. “If you, as a retailer, set up an online shop, you’re only one click away from supermarket online.” While getting shoppers to change their physical shopping

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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cheesewire Unsung heroes Hidden gems from British producers

news & views from the cheese counter

Loch Arthur’s prize cheese in limbo after health scare Loch Arthur Creamery’s Barry Graham is currently not allowed to make Criffel, which has twice tested positive for listeria


Cote Hill Reserve In a nutshell: Lincolnshire-based Cote Hill Farm is known for its unpasteurised blue cheese, but Cote Hill Reserve, launched last year, has got tongues wagging. A firm cows’ milk cheese, weighing around 1.4kg, it is washed in Bomber County beer from local brewery Tom Wood as it matures over 7-8 weeks. Flavour and texture? Natural pinky-orange rind and a gentle fruit aroma. Savoury and nutty paste. The texture is firm and supple. History: Michael and Mary Davenport have been farming for more than 30 years. They started making cheese in October 2005 using milk produced by their herd of 70 Friesian, Holstein and Red Poll cows. Their son Joseph has since joined the team and plans are in place to double output.

The future of one of Scotland’s bestknown cheeses is in the balance after it tested positive for listeria for the second time in under a year. Loch Arthur Creamery in Dumfries was forced to stop making its award-winning washed rind cheese Criffel in January after Listeria Monocytogenes was detected in three batches. The creamery implemented a full product recall, destroying around 150kg of cheese, while production has been stopped indefinitely. The same pathogen was found in the semi-soft unpasteurised cheese in early 2013, sparking a second recall. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said Loch Arthur cannot restart production of Criffel, or its other washed rind cheese Kebbuck, until it discovers the source of the problem and introduces measures to stop it happening in the future. Head cheese-maker Barry Graham told FFD that the creamery was SALSA accredited and had introduced new testing procedures after the 2013 recall.He said the batches involved in the most recent recall had all been tested before they left the creamery and had

Top British softs get Neal’s Yard makeover By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Cheese care: Cheeses are sent out vacuum-packed with a six-week best-before date. Once opened and cut it should be wrapped in waxed paper and eaten within two weeks. Why stock it? British washed rind cheeses made with raw milk are relatively rare and are often soft cheeses. Cote Hill Reserve’s firm texture would be an interesting addition to most cheese counters. Perfect partners: Tom Wood beer is an excellent accompaniment, but other traditional ales or ciders work well. Where to buy? The Cambridge Food Company, Carron Lodge or from the farm: FFD features a different ‘unsung hero’ from Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association members each month. To get involved, contact:

shown no traces of contamination. Low levels of the bacteria were picked up by a farm shop EHO during random testing. “It’s heartbreaking not to have Criffel in our farm shop. It’s our prize cheese,” he said. “We need to relook at it and decide what else we have to put in place or whether there is a case for pasteurisation.” Criffel is Loch Arthur’s bestselling cheese and its absence is likely to lose the business “tens of thousands of pounds” a year, but Graham said it was hard

British cheeses Wigmore and St Jude have been given a new lease of life in the maturing rooms of Neal’s Yard Dairy, where they are being transformed into completely new cheeses. Village Maid’s ewes’ milk cheese Wigmore is turned into Riseley (named after the village where Village Maid is based), while the lactic cows’ milk St Jude is transformed into a cheese called St Cera, which takes its name from an Irish saint. “Riseley came about when we were sent some very young Wigmores. We’re obsessive washed rinders, so it seemed like too good

an opportunity to turn down,” said Neal’s Yard’s head maturer Owen Baily. “St Cera was a suggestion from Julie Cheyney [who makes St Jude]. She wanted to make more cheese and this seemed like a sensible way for her to expand.” Julie Cheyney told FFD: “I am delighted that one recipe with three different ripening methods will produce a younger fresh St Jude, a ripened more complex St Jude and a washed rind St Cera.” Cheyney is also planning to relocate her company, White Wood Dairy, from Hampshire to Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk later this year.

to say when production would recommence, if at all. “We want to make sure that if we do bring it back it’s not going to cause us endless stress and it’s going to be a safe, reliable cheese on the market,” he said. “We don’t want to go through this ordeal again. It’s been very damaging.” Criffel was named best Scottish Cheese in 2011 and Best Organic Cheese in 2009 at the British Cheese Awards. locharthur/creamery-and-farmshop

Doubled sales prompt Chalke Valley launch Chalke Valley Cheese has launched a new Caerphilly-style cheese as demand for its products increases. The Dorset-based company, which was set up in 2012, has seen sales almost double in the past year after expanding its product range and gaining listings with wholesalers. The new addition is Tregonwell, an unpasteurised cheese that is matured for three months. “It’s tangy in the centre but has earthy, nutty notes just under the rind,” said cheese-maker Alison French.

Riseley and St Cera were created in Neal’s Yard’s maturing rooms Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014



Growing organically Interview

West Wales’s Holden Farm Dairy has been making cheddar-style Hafod since 2005 but it has not been without its challenges. Sam Holden talks to PATRICK McGUIGAN about battling TB, slow starters and giving up raw milk.


t only takes a few weak rays of sunshine for Brits to start flashing the flesh and breaking out the flipflops, but that’s nothing compared to the delirium of cows when spring arrives. According to Sam Holden of Holden Farm Dairy in West Wales, setting the cows loose in the fields for the first time after the winter is one of the great moments in a farmhouse cheese-maker’s year. “They go absolutely bonkers, literally galloping into the field, udders swaying,” he says. “They charge around, roll in the grass and go completely crazy. Anyone who tells you cows don’t mind being permanently housed hasn’t seen it for themselves.” Holden and his wife Rachel make a cheddar-style organic cheese called Hafod (pronounced Havod), which has a distinctive rich, buttery flavour. By the time you read this article, the herd of 100 or so Ayrshire cows will probably have already made the happy dash to freedom and will be grazing on the farm’s lush pastures, which have been under organic stewardship for more than 40 years. Sam’s father Patrick Holden was the director of organic lobby group the Soil Association for many years and first came to the farm in the early ’70s. The cheese-making business was set up in 2005 with a commitment to using raw milk, but was forced to pasteurise in March 2012 after TB was detected in the area. The farm’s cows have been subject to strict but infuriatingly inconclusive skin tests ever since, which have led to 27 cows (almost a third of the milking herd) being culled. This has all happened despite the fact that TB has never actually found in any of the animals. The good news is that the farm is expecting to receive the all-clear very soon, which will mean an immediate return to raw milk. It’s been a difficult experience for the Holdens, but it has also made them reassess what they do in a positive way. “Milk is incredibly complex, made up of fats, proteins and bacterial activity,” says Holden. “I realise now that those other parts of the milk, the fat and the protein and not only the bacteria, are just as important.” Not being able to use raw milk was one of the reasons why Holden switched from using freeze-dried cultures to a liquid pint starter, which he says has added amazing


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Sam Holden and his wife Rachel produced 30 tonnes of organic Hafod in 2013

“There’s a general movement complexity to the pasteurised milk. towards looking back in cheese“There is a much broader range making at the moment,” says of bacteria in the pint starters, so Holden. “There’s a theory that, as you get more breadth of flavour,” women moved out of the dairy and he explains. “It’s a slow ripening men moved in, territorial cheeses period – two hours compared to changed. They got a bit hotter and 20 minutes and we use a lot less a bit faster.” heat – which allows the bacteria The slow approach is paying to transform the sugars in the milk off, with the company increasing much more slowly, so more flavour production from 25 tonnes in 2013 develops. It’s a pain to be honest, an extra two hours on our day, The slow ripening is a pain to be but I genuinely honest, an extra two hours on our think it makes a day, but I genuinely think it makes a big difference to our cheese.” big difference to our cheese The idea to 30 tonnes this year. Holden for slowing down the production says support from the Welsh process first came from Neal’s Yard’s Government has also helped the Randolph Hodgson, who had been company grow. Hafod was one of researching old recipes in a 1917 many Welsh products showcased cheddar textbook by cheese-maker in top London food halls as part Dora Saker.

of a St David’s Day promotion last month. “We get great support from government-funded campaigns and have had some big wins on the back of them over the years,” he says. Pretty much all of the farm’s milk will be made into cheese this year. With no more land for extra cows and a reluctance to buy in milk, the business is almost at capacity with future growth dependent on price rises – a tough ask in the competitive cheddar market. “In local delis our cheese sells for under £20 a kilo and alongside it is Comté for £30,” he says. “There’s a constant downward pressure on price from block cheddars. Traditional artisan cheddars offer a whole different breadth and range of flavours, but because it’s a cheddar it has a lower perceived value.” That said, Holden is convinced that by improving the quality of his cheese, customers will be willing to dig a little deeper. “We’ve got lovely Ayrshire milk and rich diverse pastures so we have the ingredients to make very interesting, expressive cheese, which people will hopefully pay more for.”


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making more of british & continental charcuterie

Partners are pitching for BRDO grant to develop a charcuterie code and EHO training course

Councils and Guild in joint bid for ‘code of practice’ grant aid Cornwall Council, Horsham District Council and the Guild of Fine Food have made a joint bid for grant aid to create a code of practice for charcuterie production and retailing. The code would cover key food safety issues liable to cause dispute with EHOs and other regulatory officers and – depending on the level of grant funding – could be backed by scientific data from a leading food research institute. One problem faced by small producers is that there is currently no nationally accepted data on Continental-style charcuterie production to help resolve disagreements with EHOs. It is both “costly and burdensome” for individual producers to buy microbiological and shelf life date to cover all their products, according to Horsham’s principal EHO, Paul Hobbs. The bid for funding from the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, also covers the development of a oneday training course for EHOs. Cornwall Council’s head of public health & protection Allan Hampshire, said: “We carried out research earlier this year across England and Wales which suggested nearly half of local authority food safety liaison groups would welcome

Cornwall Council’s Allan Hampshire says research in England and Wales shows strong demand for charcuterie training among food safety officers

training to cover charcuterie, as new producers spring up around the UK. He added: “The proposed code of practice would be drawn up over the coming year by food safety and trading standards specialists here at Cornwall Council with colleagues from Horsham District Council, working with industry experts identified by the Guild.” Once agreed, it could also lead to the development of a Primary Authority partnership between the Guild and Cornwall Council. This would establish a set of accepted rules on key charcuterie

Guild seeks sponsors for next phase of charcuterie campaign The Guild of Fine Food’s tie-up with Cornwall and Horsham councils follows a year-long promotional campaign in support of the charcuterie sector, which has included the addition of this Cut & Dried charcuterie page to each issue of FFD. It also included last March’s FFD Guide to British & Continental Charcuterie, the production of a ‘Treasure the Taste of British Charcuterie’ wall map, and a tasting session and seminar at June’s Harrogate Speciality Food Show. It was made possible by sponsorship from eight companies and organisations: Adlington, Dell’Ami (Cheese Cellar), Deli Farm Charcuterie, Harrods, Negroni, Parma Ham Consortium, Patchwork and Trealy Farm. Patchwork, Deli Farm and Scotland’s Great Glen Game have become the first to sign up to continue the campaign in 2014-15, and the Guild is seeking support from other brands and organisations with an interest in developing charcuterie sales in the speciality sector. Managing director John Farrand said: “Given the scale of most businesses in our sector, we often rely on generous sponsorship from better known brands to help fund work that the smaller folks could never bankroll on their own. “We’re incredibly grateful to our first-year sponsors for helping us give charcuterie a much higher profile in the trade. Now we need to maintain the momentum over the coming 12 months.” • For more sponsorship information, contact FFD editor Mick Whitworth.

production and retailing issues that would have legal weight throughout England and Wales, provided producers and shops signed up to the scheme via the Guild. It is hoped a decision on funding for the year-long project will be received from the BRDO by early summer. In 2013, Cornwall Council went into a similar Primary Authority partnership with the Specialist

Cheesemakers’ Association (SCA), which already has an established code of practice, mainly covering good hygiene practices in small dairy operations. Artisan cheese-maker Jamie Montgomery of the SCA joined Erica Sheward of the BRDO to discuss the benefits of Primary Authority with charcuterie producers at a meeting at the Guild’s Harrogate Speciality Food Show last June.

Cornish producer adds local twist with seaweed and cider A salami made with seaweed harvested from the beaches around St Ives by The Cornish Seaweed Co and local cider from North Coast Cider Co is among the latest developments from Cornish Charcuterie. Owners Fionagh and Richard Harding say the “Cornish-inspired” seaweed & cider salami uses pork from British Lop pigs born on their own farm near Bude and reared on whey from Whalesborough Cheese, as well as beef from their organic herd of North Devon Ruby cattle. It is being produced in 135g sticks, 45mm sausages in two weights, and 50g or 100g sliced packs

(trade 1.30 and £2.60 respectively). Other new lines include coppa, air-dried for 60 days in natural casing. This is available either as a joint at £27.50 per kg or sliced in 50g and 100g packs at £1.80 and £3.60 (trade). The family’s Ruby beef is being used in a new bresaola, cured in a blend of salt, pepper and spices then stuffed into natural casing and air-dried for two months. This comes in joints at £50 per kg or in sliced 50g and 100g packs at £2.00 and £4.00 (trade). The Hardings, whose first Cornish Charcuterie products were jarred

rillettes, have also developed their first vegetarian line: a mushroom paté with chilli, fresh coriander and Cornish

butter. It is sold in 120g Le Parfait jars and priced at £3.60 (trade).

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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The Old Chandlery, Coquet Street, Amble, Northumberland NE65 0DJ Opening Hours: 10am – Early Evening 7 days a week e: t: 01665 710890 w:


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Sicilian Pistacchio Ice Cream

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‘If you asked most small Italian producers how they make their salami, they wouldn’t have a clue’

How Kristen Schnepp quit corporate life to make authentic Mexican cheeses – in Peckham

March 2014 · Vol 15 Issue 2

THE SNACK PACK out From popcorn to pistachios, find what’s new in bagged savoury snacks CHEF’S SELECTION 46 French verjuice and anchovies, Scottish oatmeal and East Anglian split green peas are among Rosie Sykes’ storecupboard essentials

SOFT DRINKS 29 Lynda Searby rounds up the latest premium pops, smoothies, coolers and cordials


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Award winning Greek style, Wholemilk and Low Fat yogurts made in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire. All made with fresh British milk and natural ingredients.

Tel: 01494 541890 ADVERT - F. F. DIGEST - 13 - CORRECT SIZE.pdf 15/08/2013 16:12:42 @timsdairy

• Il Gelato di Ariela was born in 2006 out of Ariela’s pure frustration of not finding proper Gelato in London • Her mission was to make the most amazing Gelato just like the one her dad had been making for the past 40 years back home. • Made the artisan way, using only natural ingredients, real fruit and banning all artificial flavourings and colourings, small batches of each flavour are made and each tub is lovingly hand crafted. • As well as the best Gelato in the UK, Il Gelato di Ariela is able to supply businesses with everything needed to sell Gelato from the cones, the toppings to the point of sale. • We provide the full package, so if Gelato is what your business needs then look no further, we will set you up before you can say GELATO!!

Visit our brand new website 26

April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Lime & Mint Sorbet winner of 2 stars at the Great Taste Awards 2013

Unit C34, Hastingwood Trading Est. Harbet Road, Edmonton - London N18 3HU tel/fax: +44 020 8803 5344 mobile: +44 079 732 948 56 email:

product update

ice cream

Cool for customers MICHAEL LANE gets the scoop on the latest flavours for the counter and freezer cabinet Greek ice cream supplier Kayak is now using one of its native specialities to make frozen yoghurt. It launched a range of natural Greek frozen yoghurts earlier this year with flavours including chocolate, digestive cookies, red berries & basil, honey & sesame and pure yoghurt with stevia. These are available in 4 litre foodservice containers as well as 500ml tubs (RRP £5.80) for retail.

Gelato Italia has teamed up with organic chocolate specialist Kaoka to develop a chocolate sorbetto using chocolate from the Dominican Republic. This chocolate is 100% organic and Fair Trade as well as lactose-free. The producer will be launching this flavour in 1 litre retail tubs but is currently rolling it out in 5 litre Napoli trays (£14.78), which can be ordered direct, for scooping cabinets and foodservice.

Brymor Dairy has launched a toffee apple ice cream in both foodservice and retail formats. The apple ice cream, with toffee sauce run through it, comes in 4 litre tubs (£10.98+VAT) and 1 litre tubs (trade £3.33+VAT, RRP £5.25). The dairy is currently updating all of its packaging as well as launching a range of frozen yoghurt in pineapple, vanilla and strawberry flavours.

The owner of London’s largest gelato counter, Snowflake Luxury Gelato is also growing the wholesale side of its business. It can supply the majority of its gelato and sorbettos in 100ml and 500ml retail tubs as well as 4 litre tubs for delis and cafés that sell by the scoop. Prices start at £5.50/litre for these larger tubs. Among the flavours on offer will be those from the newly launched organic range. While the company’s existing range is made with organic milk and cream, these flavours will feature 100% organic ingredients. The first flavours in the range include hazelnut, almond, Fior Di Latte, Stracciatella, vanilla and Dolche de Leche Snowflake has also come up with a guilt-free range – maximum of 3% added sugar – that includes pear, papaya and pineapple flavours.

Soft-launched in health food stores last Summer, ‘freeze at home’ fruit ice brand Smooze is now targeting sales in fine food retailers. The ambient, additive-free products are made from 100% freshly pressed coconut milk, real fruit juices and purées rather than concentrate or reconstituted juices. Available in mango, pink guava, pineapple and simply coconut, Smooze comes as a box of 10 x 65ml portions in tetra paks with each portion being 65ml. Each box has an RRP of £3.99 and a trade price of £2.20.

After last year’s creations made with Blue Vinny cheese and watercress, Dorset’s Purbeck Ice Cream has been a little more conventional with its NPD in 2014. Its new salted caramel ice cream contains added salted butterscotch bits and comes in 4 litre foodservice tubs (£19.95+VAT, yields 30-40 scoops) and 5 litre Napoli tubs for parlours as well as limited edition 500ml retail tubs during the summer. Its British blueberry ice cream, which features whole berries, also comes in 4 litre tubs. Using local spring water and Belgian chocolate, Purbeck has also developed a dark chocolate sorbet (2 litre foodservice tubs cost £9.30+VAT), which it describes as “extremely smooth and quite decadent”.

l Môn ar Lwy has launched 125ml individual pots in five flavours: chocolate, mint choc chip, vanilla, blueberry and strawberry. The pots (RRP £1.50-£1.80 each) come in cases of 24 and can be bought from Harlech Foods.

l Having enjoyed popularity with chefs for the last couple of years, Jude’s dark chocolate sorbet is now available in 500ml retail tubs (RRP £5.99). The dairy- and glutenfree sorbet is made with Valrhona cacao, which lends the product a “rich and creamy” texture.

l Mendip Moments is introducing a banana & salted caramel flavour to its range. This banana ice cream, rippled with salted caramel, comes in 500ml retail tubs (RRP £4.75) as well as 4 litre tubs for foodservice.

l The Summer Menu from Caroline’s Dairy is available from April to September. Rhubarb, lemon meringue and fresh raspberry ice creams are all back in 500ml pots (RRP £5). They will also be available in 4 litre tubs, as will stem ginger, lime & chilli and coconut.

l Swiss ice cream brand Mövenpick has added two new flavours to its offer: cinnamon and yoghurt Ice cream. Both are available in a 2.4 litre format.

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014



We’re expanding & looking for new outlets & distributors for our fabulous ice cream!

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SERVE AWARD WINNING SNOWFLAKE LUXURY GELATO TO YOUR CUSTOMERS Snowflake Luxury Gelato is made with organic Jersey Milk and Cream, with only the finest natural ingredients added. We only ever use fresh fruits in our sorbets. Snowflake Luxury Gelato are also the first Gelateria in London to launch a 100% organic range of gelato. Available in 4 litre wholesale tubs or in 500ml and 100 ml retail tubs.





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April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

product update Marshfield Farm is now offering two more of its flavours in takehome 1 litre tubs. Mango Madness – mango ice cream with a thick raspberry ripple and mango chunks – and Funky Banana – banana ice cream base rippled with chocolate sauce and real fudge pieces – both have an RRP of £4.99. The Wiltshire firm has also created a new flavour for the scoop and catering trade: Morello cherry with white chocolate chunks. This flavour is available now in 4 litre and 5 litre tubs.

ice cream

Taywell has launched a range of ice creams and sorbets made with no added sugar. The NOSH range features four varieties of ice cream – Choccy, Coffy, Nutty (Coconut) and S(traw)berry – as well as R(asp)berry and Mango sorbets. Instead of added sugar, Taywell’s NOSH contains a blend of three 100% natural sweeteners: stevia, erythritol and organic agave nectar

Top sellers…

hop, ow’s Farm S …at Barleym erset Chard, Som rm vanilla Rookbeare Fa e rm chocolat Rookbeare Fa rry rm strawbe Rookbeare Fa dge rm Devon fu Rookbeare Fa raisin rm rum & Rookbeare Fa

Oliphant & Pomeroy is launching a range of artisan ice creams coated in Belgian chocolate. All of the ice cream that goes into these upmarket choc ices is made in small batches in rural Buckinghamshire using Jersey cream and natural ingredients like real fruit purées and locally produced honey. Each bite-sized piece of ice cream is then handdipped in chocolate. Flavours include salted caramel ice cream covered in dark chocolate, lemon posset ice cream covered in dark chocolate and a honey ice cream covered in honey flavoured milk chocolate. The ices are available in packs of four and eight with RRPs of £4.25 and £7.95 respectively.

Cream ice will now be available in brighter, more eye-catching tubs. Its producer Alder Tree has made sure the new packaging is “extra fruity” to stress the high fruit content (accounting for more than a third of each tub), which gives the product its inverted name. All nine of the Suffolk producer’s core range, including its Great Taste Top 50 damson flavour, will be available in 125ml (RRP £1.99) and 500ml (RRP £5.25) tubs, as will seasonal specials, such as tayberry, cherry, and pear & vanilla.

From this Spring, Booja Booja is reducing the price of its organic, non-dairy ice cream. The producer’s Hunky Punky Chocolate, Coconut Hullabaloo, Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla and Feisty Rollercoastery Ginger tubs (500ml) all have a new lower RRP of just £5.99 (trade price £3.74), while the nutty Pompompous Maple Pecan, is now priced at £6.99 (trade price £4.37). Booja Booja hopes the move will improve sales in independents and stresses that it has not changed any of its recipes, ingredients or processes.

Michelin-starred chef Chris Horridge has developed a new range of iced desserts and sorbets, suitable for many dietary requirements, for Edinburgh’s Ronan Foods. The Yi range of ices are free from lactose, added sugar, saturated fat, gluten, egg, salt, nuts, cholesterol, GM ingredients, vegetable oil, soy, mono-diglycerides, artificial additives, flavours, preservatives and colours. Current flavours include wasabi ripple, chocolate, raspberry, wasabi-lime and lemon, all of which are available in 100ml and 500ml tubs (trade £1.05 and £3.37 respectively).

For those retailers looking to develop their own ice cream, gelato or frozen yoghurt, cone producer and ingredient supplier Antonelli is now the UK agent for Italian ingredient manufacturer MEC 3. Among the new flavour mixes available are apple pie and cheesecake. To demonstrate the quality of its ingredients, Antonelli recently claimed a National Ice Cream Award for its specially developed banana gelato.

It’s been a year of scooping both awards and ice cream at Derbyshire’s Bluebells. As well as racking up five gongs at the National Ice Cream Awards, the company also enjoyed success at last summer’s Italian Gelato Festival held in Agugliano. Bluebells produced two flavours – dark chocolate lavender and orange mascarpone with amarena cherries – specially for the event and these proved so popular that it won the festival’s two foot tall Varnelli Trophy. These two flavours, as well as all of the dairy’s creations, are available to retailers and foodservice in 4.5 litre pans (trade £24.95), 2.45 litre pans (£14.45) and 480ml pots (£3.25).

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


Fabulous Rookbeare Sorbets now available in individual tubs Rookbeare Farm, Stockleigh English, Devon EX17 4BE Email:


Imagine a luxury ice cream or sorbet that doesn’t make you fat but still tastes delicious. Sounds too good to be true? Taywell’s ‘No Added Sugar’ range.

NO SHHH!UGAR Taywell Ice Creams Ltd Forstal House Maidstone Road Paddock Wood Kent TN12 6PY


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

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product update

sauces & dressings

Dash, drizzle and dollop Chilli sauces continue to be a hot trend but flavours from all over the globe are entering the category. LYNDA SEARBY checks out the latest condiments.

l South Devon Chilli Farm’s habanero chilli sauce is now available in a larger 250ml bottle.

Sri Lankan food producer Asiri Foods has launched a trio of dressings-cum-marinades that encapsulate the flavours of summer. Beetroot & orange with coriander, mango coconut with a hint of chilli and pineapple molasses with a hint of chilli have an RRP of £2.99-3.25 for 250g. Trade price is £1.75-2.25 and they come in cases of six.

Summer is the season for Mediterranean cuisine and Vallebona recommends its Sardinian lemon oil for bringing intense flavour and fruitiness to cooked vegetables, salads or grilled fish dishes. Trade price is £5.25 for a 100ml bottle, and retailers can up-sell by partnering it with Vallebona’s white truffle oil from the Marche for gifting (trade price £6.20 for 100ml).

www. southdevonchillifarm.

l Olives Et Al has started sourcing grape molasses, a thick sweet syrup made from densely concentrated grape juice, from a women’s cooperative in the West Bank.

Chilli Boy, a brand of piri piri products originating from Mozambique, has landed on UK shores after securing its first retail listing at Notting Hill’s The Grocer on Elgin. The range, which has been brought to the UK by Portuguese food importer Sol e Campo, includes a piri piri hot sauce and a hot cooking paste. Red chillies are sun-dried then dried in a special oven for a rich smoky flavour, before being infused with herbs, spices and olive oil, to make a sauce that “perks up cold meats, salads and pasta dishes”. The hot cooking paste, meanwhile is a “powerful marinade”. Both products are packed in boxes of 12 and priced to the trade at £3.95 per bottle/jar.

The Coconut Kitchen has improved the recipe of its sweet chilli & garlic sauce based on feedback from the Great Taste awards judging panel last year. The texture is thicker, which makes for a better dipping sauce that sticks to food more readily. The Coconut Kitchen’s Thai sauces, which are a spin-off from Preechaya Phetprasert’s thriving Abersoch restaurant, are included in a new recipe booklet that is available free-of-charge to retailers. All sauces have an RRP of £3.99 and a trade price of £2.85 for 270g.

l The Preservation Society has branched out beyond chutneys, pickles and preserves with blackcurrant, raspberry and blackberry sirops made from Welsh seasonal produce.

l Clearspring Step aside Worcestershire: Dorsetshire sauce is From Dorset With Love’s latest introduction. Described as a “tangy, spicy piquant sauce that is versatile enough to liven up a Bloody Mary or simply use as a dressing or marinade”, the sauce is available to the trade in cases of 6x250ml bottles for £21. RRP is £5 per bottle.

has launched a Japanese organic noodle broth that doubles up as a rich dipping sauce. This concentrated stock or ‘tsuyu’ is an umami rich combination of shiitake mushroom extract, soya sauce and mirin.

Few products can match the story behind The Colonel’s poppy seed dressing, Scarlett & Mustard’s big project for 2014. Shortly after meeting, Scarlett & Mustard co-founders Sandy and Julian discovered that Sandy’s grandfather and Julian’s great uncle both fought in the same Leicestershire regiment in the First World War. They also discovered that they were not only in the same regiment, but the same battalion and were wounded within weeks of each other during the same campaign. For every bottle of Colonel’s poppy seed dressing sold, Scarlett & Mustard is donating £1 to the Royal British Legion. The Suffolk family business is also launching Mutti’s mint & redcurrant dressing and Hail! Caesar Imperial, a take on the classic caesar salad dressing, at the end of April. All dressings have an RRP of £3.994.99.

l Among the six-strong range launched last year by Yau’s is Zingy Zum. This Vietnamese dipping sauce and dressing is made with fish sauce and has an RRP of £2.49 for a 280g bottle. www.bonnieyau.

l Following on from the success of PEPS The Hot One, The Pickled Village has launched a hot and sweet chilli jam made with scotch bonnet chillies. www.thepickledvillage.

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


product update

sauces & dressings

Red pepper spreads west Roasted red pepper condiments are popular across Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and now some of these are showing up in the UK. The recipe for Glorious Sushi’s Lecho sweet red pepper sauce originates from a Ukrainian granny and combines bell pepper, tomatoes, cider vinegar and spices. The versatile “sweet and slightly sour” sauce, which can be used as a salad dressing, pizza topping or meat and fish dish accompaniment, was awarded gold in the 2013 Blas na hEireann

As the North African cuisine trend continues to gather pace, Belazu has built on the success of its rose harissa paste with a green verbena harissa paste (90g pot, RRP £2.49). Mediterranean baby spinach leaves, fresh coriander, parsley, Moroccan verbena, garlic purée, Beldi lemons and spices culminate in a “lighter, zesty note”, said to be perfect in dressings, for marinating fish or white meat, or for mixing through yoghurt to make a dip.

Top sellers…

ehouse, eshire Smok The Ch heshire Wilmslow, C p Farr


tard ke ts sweet mus e sic vinaigrett ington’s clas


o ketchup Stokes tomat honey lle orange & Adesso Sevi marinade dressing & d Prig Pao t Kitchen Pa The Coconu sauce


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

national Irish food awards. Its RRP is £3.75. Serbian importer Granny’s Secret, meanwhile, is now importing an organic version of avyar, the roasted pepper spread that has been described as the country’s best kept secret. Available in a smaller 200g jar size with an RRP of £3.95, the mild, piquant relish is a good match with crusty bread, scrambled eggs, strong cheeses, cold meats and fish.

Top sellers…

op, n’s Farm Sh Drewto ire East Yorksh South Cave,

mpany e Trading Co Breckenholm a virgin oil tr ex d ld presse Yorkshire co pper with black pe e & chilli tts kaffir lim Atkins & Po marinade ic dressing sweet balsam Little Doone rry with raspbe vinegar sweet basil Vinegar Tips ace dressing orange & m Womersley

Isle of Wight producer Wild Island has extended its range this spring with three new dressings. Chilli cherry drizzle, Isle of Wight salad dressing with honey & thyme and raspberry dressing are all made from rapeseed oil which is grown, cold pressed and bottled on the island. Owner Nuala Grandcourt recommends pairing the chilli cherry drizzle with Isle of Wight crab. Boxes of six bottles (trade price £4.70, RRP £7.25 each) can be ordered direct or through Diverse Fine Foods.

Chef-producer Grant Hawthorne has added mild and extra hot variants to his African Volcano collection of peri peri sauces and redesigned the label with tribal motifs for a more African feel. He describes the style of his peri peri as “flavour then heat, followed by a lingering aftertaste and slight burn”, and uses tomatoes, garlic, herbs, spices and onion as a base rather than vinegar. The ‘extra hot’ sauce (240ml, RRP £8) contains five cultivars of chillies: scotch bonnet, African bird’s eye, Dorset aga, Trinidad moruga scorpion and Facing Heaven. The mild sauce (240ml, RRP £6.20) contains three varieties: serenade; African bird’s eye and Facing Heaven.

Roquito chillies – red jalapenos from South America – are the star ingredients in The Bay Tree’s latest sauce. They “pack a punch but maintain a sweet, fruity flavour profile”, resulting in a sauce that is said to be great for marinating meat and vegetables, spicing up cheese on toast or pepping up quesadillas. Roquito chilli spicy sauce has an RRP of £2.99 for 250g. www.thebaytree.

New to dressings and sauces... Since launching last June, Twisted 7 Sauces has already scooped the 2013 Best Newcomer and Best Label categories at the National Chilli Awards, and founder Dean Pearman is hoping the number 7 will continue to be lucky in 2014. The Kent-based start-up uses UK-grown chillies to make quirkily named chilli sauces such as The Organ Grinder (100ml, RRP £4.50), which showcases super-hot Dorset naga chillies, and Hellbelly, a blend of scotch

bonnet chillies, jalapeno chillies and passionfruit juice (100ml, RRP £4). “These sauces, now part of our Flamin’ collection, are where it all started. With a high content of fresh chilli in each bottle you get the

real flavour of the chilli without an overpowering vinegar flavour which is all too common in massproduced sauces,” says Pearman. He’s since developed an extensive line-up of chilli-based sauces, ranging from Carolina Charm, a tangy BBQ sauce with chipotle chilli, to All Thai’d Up, which features lime, coriander, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chilli. This year, Pearman is seeking retail listings for his sauces, which, until now, have primarily been sold at markets and festivals.

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3 Great promotions to support driving sales • 5 for 4 case deals in May & September • Retail tub deal to win weekend in Salcombe • POS including swing signs and flags to support sales

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Tel: 01548 843228 | Salcombe Dairy Ltd, Shadycombe Road, Salcombe, Devon, TQ8 8DX

Available in a range of tub sizes Tel: 01904 706702 Email: Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


product update

sauces & dressings

There might already be a lot of mango chutneys on the market but Green Saffron insists its new Indian Chatni is “not just another hot and sticky jam-type gloop”. “We take jaggery that we source direct from a small village called Mora in India, add cider vinegar, mango and a blend of the freshest, most fragrant spices sourced direct from their native lands. It’s not like all the others that adorn store shelves,” says founder Arun Kapil. Available from May through Cotswold Fayre, the chutney comes in 310g jars.

Tracklements has added a ninth product to its range of mustards. The tangy balsamic mustard is available in 145g jars at a case price of £7.50 with an RRP of £2.00 each. The producer – the maker of the UK’s first wholegrain mustard – launched the product last month and is offering retailers a range of promotional items and recipe cards to show consumers how to use the new condiment. In light of the new Food Information Regulation, Tracklements has also redesigned its labels to include nutritional information and improve the legibility of product names.

New for 2014 from Cottage Delight is an accessibly priced collection of ‘gourmet’ mustards and dressings in smaller 100ml and 110g jars to allow customers to explore the range with minimal wastage. Ranging from the familiar sweet pepper dressing to the unusual wasabi & ginger dressing, the 11-strong collection covers a broad colour-spectrum for on-shelf appeal. RRP is £2.95. Cottage Delight has also made its best selling dipping, marinating and sauces available in trial size bottles (£RRP £2.25). Lines include Indian spiced marinade, Thai sweet chilli sauce and hickory smoked barbecue sauce. Further new product development from the Staffordshire producer includes a new smokey barbecue salsa made from smoked chipotle chillies (RRP £2.50), an Asianinspired green chilli & lemon sauce (RRP £3.30) and a new roast garlic dressing (RRP £3.95).

DipNation has come up with three Mexican-inspired chunky tomato salsa dips. Launched last month, the smokey bean & chipotle, sweet chilli and classic hot dips represent its first foray into the ambient market, where it is pitching itself as a high quality yet competitively priced alternative to existing products. The dips come in shelf-ready cases of 6x185g jars with an RRP of £1.99 each. They are available direct or from The Cress Company.

Showing that there is more to Mexican than a fajita kit is Kankun, with a line-up of authentic sauces that has been expanded to include marinade and habanero sauces. Marinade sauce adds Mexican flavour with a smoky medium heat to anything from chicken drumsticks to shrimps, while habanero contains 85% habanero chilli. Both sauces have an RRP of £3.50 and are distributed by Cotswold Fayre.


New to dressings and sauces...

Saladworx launched the first of its Little Red Dressings limited editions in January. Strawberry & balsamic, an accompaniment for both savoury dishes and desserts, was designed with Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day in mind. A second new sauce, whisky & thistle, brings together two symbols of Scotland: single malt Scottish whisky and natural thistle plants. Aimed at the domestic, international and ex-pat markets, the sauce can be paired with salads, haggis, cheese and meats. Both dressings are available from Green City Wholefoods in cases of six and have an RRP of £6.50 per bottle.


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Sorai, the UK’s first and only Bornean food brand, launched in March with a line-up of spicy sauces for cooking, dipping and dressing. The Abergavenny-based business has been test marketing products since September 2013 and is now ready to go with grilled pepper sauce, Intense ginger &

garlic sauce and chillinut sauce. Fiery balsamic pineapple sauce, Daring hot soy sauce, Screaming pineapple sauce and Tempting onion balsamic sauce will follow later in the year. RRP is £3.20-£3.70 for 150ml.

Top sellers…

ca, Liverpool Delifonse

ed mustard hickory smok Uncle Roy’s horseradish beetroot & Olives Et Al dressing Sauce Cholula Hot inal balsamic Cuisine orig Imaginative glaze



To find out more about our Dressing Collection please contact us at e: or t: 020 8747 4089

“making food better” My Gluten Free range of sauces are all slow cooked using traditional recipes and techniques. Huge flavour and great value will have your customers coming back for more and more.

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It’s often been said that it’s the little things in life that make a big difference, and we couldn’t agree more. From a secret family recipe, our award winning dressings are lovingly made and it’s our commitment to detail such as the use of extra virgin olive oil that ensures the perfect blend and perfect taste for each and every one of our numbered dressings.

New range of premium cooking sauces

stonewall kitchen Comfort food made easy. | 08456 121201 |




Available exclusively in the UK through Cotswold Fayre.


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Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


What is behind D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

“We were blown away...!”

easy Utterly delicious, ith w ng ti rs to use and bu urs, vo fla y fresh and zing d an t ee sw a range of r fo gs in er savour y off e im lt ea ever y m – just add food!

What is D.O.P.? D.O.P. / P.D.O. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta / Protected Designation of Origin) is defined by the European Union and is connected with the specific geographical area that defines the quality, taste and other singular characteristics of the product.

Fortnum & Mason

Why is D.O.P. Important? D.O.P. status was created by the EU in 1992 as a way to ensure the quality and authenticity of the foods we consume, but also as a way to help promote those agricultural products and foods that have special value because of the way or place in which they are produced.

How do we recognize D.O.P.? By the EU symbol.


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focus on

barbecues & outdoor dining

Here comes the sun LYNDA SEARBY grills retailers about maximising warm weather sales with non-food merchandising and preparing less obvious cuts of fresh meat for the BBQ season

Big Green Egg ceramic barbecues have proved a success for Cambridgeshire retailer Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop


he importance of the BBQ season cannot be overplayed. For some farm shops and food halls, such as Pynes of Somerset, it is even more lucrative than December. “It’s better to have a good summer than a good Christmas,” says Malcolm Pyne. “It’s longer, it’s far more manageable and produce isn’t at peak price.” For shops with the space and the inclination, the BBQ season also offers the ideal opportunity for boosting sales with non-food merchandise. Drewton’s, situated on the Drewton Estate in East Yorkshire, has a 30x20ft luxuries area housing gifts, cards and homeware. By the end of April, proprietor Katie Taylor says there will be a selection of summer outdoor dining foods, drinks and homeware on

display here. “We have a very small selection of homeware in our luxuries department, with a range of crockery, jugs, candles and napkins, and we’re looking at a new supplier for table linen,” she says. In terms of choosing these items, Taylor says, “We support local craftspeople and work on a commission basis with them. Otherwise we purchase from Fallen Fruits, Gisela Graham and some new suppliers coming on board soon.” Of course, sales of BBQ and outdoor dining merchandise is hugely weather-dependent. The minute the sun comes out these items fly off the shelves, whereas when it is raining, they stick. To avoid under- or over-supply of stock amid such uncertainty, Taylor says: “We try to work with suppliers who don’t insist we

commit to huge minimum orders, so we can place more frequent orders and keep a close eye on stock levels and demand.” With a sizeable home and gifts department, The Food Company in Marks Tey, Essex, is another store that goes hammer and tongs at BBQ and outdoor dining merchandise. “As we have a fairly large sales floor, we like to give it quite a bit of space. We make sure customers

got ❛toYou’ve make the

meat kitchenfriendly. People don’t want to spend hours preparing for a Malcolm Pyne BBQ.

can walk around it, sit in the chairs, lie in the hammock and get a better feel for the products,” says department co-ordinator Frances Edwards. “We like to be ready for the season as soon as the sun makes any sort of appearance. This reminds customers that summer is on its way and they start to buy early to be prepared.” Best sellers at The Food Company include a range of acrylic wine glasses, champagne flutes and food domes from Dalebrook – its owner. Edwards says that outdoor beanbags and hammocks from a company called Fatboy also sell very well. “We aim to stock different products that you wouldn’t see anywhere else and because of this, they always seem to sell,” she adds. Even those retailers without Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


Call our friendly customer service team for more details or visit our website. Fosters Traditional Foods Ltd, Great Bowden Road, Market Harborough, LE16 7DE | Tel: 01858 438000


April 2014 路 Vol.15 Issue 3

Savoury Chutney Scones made using... Fosters Caramelised Onion Chutney

barbecues & outdoor dining

focus on

dedicated homeware areas and A new alternative cuts without any interest in stocking beef box scheme kit is non-food items might be converted available from Defra if they talk to Charles Bradford, sponsored English beef owner of Gog Magog Hills Farm and lamb organisation Shop & Butchery, for long enough. EBLEX as a resource for “I never had any intention of farm shops selling meat selling any hardware,” he says. “I directly to consumers. then had an opportunity to see the The toolkit contains Big Green Egg. Initially I wasn’t very a guide for farms interested. It was only when I tasted and shops detailing the food off it that I sat up and paid alternative cutting attention. Now we are one of their options for rump, biggest retailers.” topside, thick flank, chuck roll and feather muscle to produce high For those who don’t know quality frying or grilling steaks rather than roasting joints, casserole joints, about this phenomenon that has set braising or diced beef. out to “redefine the British BBQ”, Step-by-step cutting specifications are available with both kits, the Big Green Egg is a ceramic together with freezer-proof meat labels, posters and recipe leaflets to controllable barbecue that is being complement the cuts in the meat box. championed by Michelin-starred chefs including Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House in Cambridge, Sat Bains and Simon Rogan as Gog Magog Hills is laid out not trying too hard with them. If we well as Tom Adams of Pitt Cue across three buildings, and the push them too hard people will back Co in London. Its beauty lies in its eggs, sited between each building, off,” he says. versatility – you can slow-cook, can usually be found slow-cooking The advantage of something bake, smoke, sear or roast anything a joint such as a pork shoulder or like the Big Green Egg is that it also from a turkey to beef brisket. boosts meat sales and, in the case We work fish or pizza – and The smell of of Gog Magog Hills, cuts of meat it’s really easy to roasting meat that would not otherwise be popular with local use. In the words alone seems to during the summer months. craftspeople of Bradford: “It’s be enough to For butchery counters, the or try to easy to regulate convince many BBQ season is generally less about work with the temperature shoppers to selling more meat, and more about suppliers who splash out. so it cooks stuff having to do more work to sell the that makes you By Bradford’s same amount of meat, according to don’t insist on huge seem like a own admission, Bradford. minimum orders real hero.” The Gog Magog This is why Gog Magog Hills is Katie Taylor popular large egg Hills is doing a trying to teach customers a different retails at £850 and there is a whole healthy trade in Big Green Eggs with approach to barbecuing; “We’re host of optional ‘egg-sessories’ such very little effort – during the first trying to steer customers away from as pizza stone, cast iron searing grid week in March alone, they sold five. burgers, sausages and marinaded and roasting rack. “I think the key has been that we’re chicken drumsticks, which are a lot

BBQ accessories Victoria Eggs, a young British designer, has just launched her British Barbecue collection, a range of accessories with a BBQ inspired print. The collection includes an apron (RRP £19.95), a tea towel (RRP £9.95) and an oven mitt (£14.95), all printed onto unbleached organic cotton and available in grey or green.

Winterflora is marketing a range of plates, bowls and serving dishes made from nothing but fallen leaves and water, representing an environmentally friendly and attractive alternative to disposable plastic or paper tableware. For centuries,

rural Indians have used fallen leaves from the indigenous areca palm tree as disposable dinnerware. The leaves are gathered, soaked, cleaned, then heated and moulded. When all of the moisture has been squeezed out, the leaves retain the shape. A pack of six biodegradable 18cm oval palm leaf plates has a trade price of £1.25, while a six-pack of round 26cm plates has a trade price of £2.10. Other shapes and sizes are available.

Wasting time attempting to light a BBQ is a thing of the past thanks to the IXO BBQ, a gadget from Bosch that is designed to ignite kindling or coals in seconds. Powered by a long lasting lithium-ion battery, the IXO BBQ pumps oxygen into the heart of the BBQ, building a strong flame quickly and ensuring sausages don’t get contaminated with lighter fluid. RRP is £49.99.

of work for our butchers to prepare, to focus instead on one piece of meat, such as a spatchcock joint or a hand of pork.” Malcolm Pyne agrees that it’s not so much about selling extra meat as what you do with it during the BBQ season. “You’ve got to make the meat kitchen-friendly. People don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing for a BBQ.” Popular “kitchen-friendly” lines on Pynes of Somerset’s 12.5m butchery counter include burgers stuffed with Harlech cheddar, parsley and horseradish, and meat portions marinated in Cajun spices or fuego peri. “In winter we stay traditional in our flavours, whereas in summer we can be more experimental. But we’ve still got to hit most consumers’ taste buds; products have to be commercially viable.” Pyne’s prediction for this summer is the Jacob’s Ladder (beef short ribs). “There’s a great fashion for this and I know it will be this year’s favourite food, either on its own or with a Cantonese or Texan marinade.”

Easy on the eyes Eve Reid, visual merchandising expert and founder retail consultancy Metamorphosis Group, shares her tips for creating an eye-catching visual display. • Choose a colour scheme: anchor the display by using the same tones; pick three colours and stick to them. • Theme the display: think about who you’re targeting and define the look and feel around that – it could be a country theme, with hay bales and cowboy boots, a picnic theme with tartan rugs, or a camping theme centred on a tent. • Use props carefully: where many retailers go wrong is in their use of props. It should be obvious that props are props, not items that can be bought, and props should support the products you’ve chosen in style and theme. They should also be of the same quality as the products they sit alongside. • Make display work hard: besides showcasing products, think about what else it might be appropriate to communicate through the display, like services and offers. • Make sure the space entertains, inspires and delights. People can buy products on-line but they can’t buy an experience.

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014



Continental Meat Technology Gluten free rusk substitute from CMT CMT introduces a revolutionary new gluten free crumb, which can replace conventional rusk in sausages and burgers or can be used as a coating for meat and poultry products.

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April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

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April’s exclusive Guild member promotions SHEMIN’S INDIAN CURRY PASTE Great Taste award-winning Shemin’s Indian Curry Pastes can be used to cook a variety of Indian cuisine. All products – available in in mild, medium and hot spice levels – are made from 100% natural ingredients and are gluten- and dairy-free. Free in-store product demonstrations can be arranged and point of sale material is provided. THE DEAL: 25% off first orders and free next-day delivery to mainland UK AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Jamie MacGregor on 01344 291 216 or

ALDER TREE Alder Tree’s unique fruit cream ices are packed full of fruit and all made by hand on the company’s fruit farm in Suffolk. With more than 30 Great Taste awards, its range of traditional British flavours includes gooseberry & elderflower, summer fruits and stem ginger & rhubarb. These come in 125ml & 500ml pots (RRP £1.99 and £5.25 respectively). THE DEAL: Buy 4 cases of any cream ice flavour and get 1 case of stem ginger & rhubarb (in the same size) free AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Stephany Hardingham on 01449 721220 or


LUSCOMBE Luscombe uses the “very best” ingredients and “treats them properly” to produce its range of soft drinks, which won nine awards in Great Taste 2013, and organic cider. The Devon-based company knows all the growers that supply it and never uses concentrates or artificial flavourings. Luscombe does not and will not sell to supermarkets; it only supplies independent retailers, cafés, restaurants, bars and hotels. THE DEAL: 20% off pack price of 24x32cl on all orders of soft drinks and organic cider AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Sarah Lloyd on 01364 643036 or


Bread du Jour supplies artisanstyle bake-off breads with a minimum 14-day ambient shelf life nationwide. The bread doesn’t need to be stored frozen, saving space and cost and reducing wastage. A winner at the first World Bread Awards in 2013, this range of hand-crafted breads is made using traditional bakery methods and an original aged wild yeast sourdough. Retailers can order online enter code ‘FF-Bread-Du-Jour’. THE DEAL: 20% off first orders (min. order 12 loaves) enter code ‘FF-Bread-Du-Jour’ at
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A winner of two stars in Great Taste 2012, Mrs Mack’s Organic Poppy Seed Dressing has been described in The Times as “an outright winner” and “an addictive taste experience”. It is made with sunflower oil, balsamic vinegar, raw cane sugar, sea salt, mustard powder, poppy seeds and fresh onion juice, all of which are organic. THE DEAL: Bottles available at a reduced trade price of £2.40 each (normally £2.80). Free sample bottles with first orders. AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Mary Anne Mackaness on 01747 830109 or

UNCLE ROY’S Uncle Roy imports and distributes a range of Great Taste-winning mustard seed oils across Europe. The oils are said to offer a number of health benefits including 65% less saturated fat than olive oil and 16% Omega 3 content. Both the Light & Nutty and Spicy oils have a high smoke point, which makes them suitable for shallow, stir and deep frying, but they can also be used as dressings. In fact, this oil is a key ingredient of Uncle Roy’s One & Only Dressing. THE DEAL: Buy any 3 cases of mustard seed oils and get a free case of Uncle Roy’s One & Only Dressing (worth £17.30) as part of a carriage-paid order AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Uncle Roy on 01683 221076 or


DipNation’s latest offering is three Mexican-inspired salsa dips. This chunky, tomato-based range includes Smokey Bean & Chipotle, Sweet Chilli and Classic Hot – all with varying degrees of heat intensity. These jars (185g, RRP £1.99) are ideal for sharing and party occasions and will sit well in retailers’ current snacking selections. THE DEAL: Free case of 6x185g with any order. Minimum order 5 cases. AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Juliet Williams on 01333 329 034 or

BAKEDIN Hampshire producer BakedIn says its handmade home baking kits offer “less fuss, no waste and great taste”. Every kit in the six-strong range contains exactly the right amount of dry ingredients – including organic flour, Madagascan vanilla and Belgian chocolate – needed to make a cake, plus key essentials such as a foil baking tray, baking paper and step-by-step recipe. All the baker needs to do is add the fresh ingredients like butter and eggs. THE DEAL: 20% off first orders (up to 4 cases, 28 kits/case, cases can be mixed). Retailers get 5 kits for the price of 4, enabling them to run an introductory 2 for £10 promotion AVAILABILITY: UK Mainland. Delivery charged at £10 per case of 28 kits. CONTACT: Anna Bridgen on 07515 423240 or

All offers valid until the end of this month and available to Guild retail members only





Buy 4 cases of any cream ice flavour and get 1 case of stem ginger & rhubarb 01449 721220 (in the same size) free


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RETAILERS: To take advantage of these promotions, you have to be a retail member of the Guild of Fine Food. For more information or to join, contact SUPPLIERS: You must to be a producer member of the Guild to promote your latest offers on this page. If you’re already signed up and interested in booking a slot, contact

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014



The Big Green Egg is seeking new farm shop dealers to offer a unique blend of barbecue oven cookery demonstrations, butchery classes, and indoor/outdoor BGE café programmes to their customers while also having the opportunity to sell the Big Green Egg via our Farm Shop based dealer strategy.

The Big Green Egg is a ceramic barbecue oven that bakes pizzas & breads, cooks whole joints of meat to perfection, and will sear the perfect steak – all in one device. The EGG has fast become the foodie and chef choice as the “Ultimate Cooking Experience”. Look no further than the numerous Michelin chefs, fanatical customers, and award winning farm shops that have discovered how the Big Green Egg has transformed their business. We are currently looking for new dealers, so contact us now if you fit the bill and understand what it takes to innovate while offering your customers the best possible service. Selling the Big Green Egg at Gog Magog has exceeded our expectations by adding an extra dimension to our customer’s experience. The EGGs have not only brought in new customers, but also increased the volume of total sales, as well as the sales of higher margin products within our butchery.

CHARLES BRADFORD Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop, Cambridge For more information please contact: or call 01962 737000

BGE-Fine-Food_Digest_204x142mm_v6.indd 1

12/03/2014 12:09

Stand out from the crowd At Luscombe, our drinks are made with copious amounts of style and zero compromise. Using the very best ingredients from carefully selected growers, we set the benchmark for quality soft drinks. You will never find our drinks in supermarkets which will help you to distance yourself from mediocrity and delight your customers. Call us today for details of our full drinks range and a sample pack on 01364 64 30 36. Only the best goes in a Luscombe bottle.


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

Call now to find out about our amazing Thai Taste offers for Thai New Year! For sales enquiries, please contact Bespoke Foods on 020 7091 3200

*Source: Kantar Worldpanel November 2013

CRACKING CHRISTMAS Getting it right in December can save your year. Come and learn how you can crack Christmas from two retailers who have done over twenty between them. You too could spend January on the beach.

NEED TO KNOW Monday June 23 Hall 2, Yorkshire Event Centre HG2 8PW, 10.30am-2.00pm £45.00 plus VAT Come along and spend the afternoon at the show What will you learn • What a 2% increase in margin can do to your profitability • How you can extend your Christmas sales into November • How you can play the cash flow game to your advantage CHARLIE • How to create a business plan specifically TURNBULL, for this time of year Turnbulls Deli & Café • How to make sure your food shop is top of your customers Christmas list • How to manage wastage and how to stock season-specific products

GEORGIE MASON, Gonalston Farm Shop


To enrol call 01747 825200 or email Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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shelf talk

products, promotions & people

Scarlett & Mustard makes sweet foray with fruit curds Mara debuts seaweed tins By MICHAEL LANE

People seem to really like it.” Despite trebling first year sales, Ruddock said Scarlett & Mustard would continue to “build a very strong foundation” in independents and smaller chains, including National Trust shops, rather than larger multiples like Tesco. Ruddock said that the next new products would be a piccalilli and another relish to join the existing Billy’s chilli jam. Scarlett & Mustard will also be adding a Caesar dressing, which was requested by a buyer at current stockist Fortnum & Mason. All products are available direct or through Cotswold Fayre and Heart Distribution.

After gaining endorsements from a number of high profile chefs, Scottish company Mara has launched its four seaweed seasonings in tins and a gift pack. The new formats for its kombu, shony, dulse and pepper dulse dried seaweeds, known as the “truffle of the sea”, were all unveiled in Harrods last month while Partridges is also due to list them. All of these “natural flavour enhancers” – which have been used by Michelin-starred chefs Nathan Outlaw and Brett Graham as well as celebrity baker Paul Hollywood – are made from seaweeds harvested in British waters, dried and milled to a flake. Kombu (50g), dulse and shony (both 30g) all come in shaker tins with a sprinkle insert (RRP £5.95) while pepper dulse is sold in 10g tins (RRP £12.70). The new gift tin (RRP £11.99) features three 25g test tubes of kombu, shony and dulse. These three varieties are also available in refill pouches.


Scarlett & Mustard has branched out into sweet preserves with a range of fruit curds, as it looks to maintain its sales growth and increase its presence in independents. The producer, which has only been trading for two years, is now offering a four-strong range of curds – The Curd Herd – alongside its current line-up of dressings, infused oils and a chilli jam. Passionfruit & lemon, orange, blackcurrant & star anise and lime & mint are available to retailers in cases of 6x210g jars (trade £14.88). Scarlett & Mustard co-founder Sandy Ruddock told FFD that the curds were a natural progression as they are in keeping with the company’s ethos of putting her own family recipes into production. “They’re things that we’ve already

done at home,” she said. “I’ve always made the passionfruit & lemon and the lime & mint here.” A rhubarb & vanilla curd will also soon join the range, which is produced for Scarlett & Mustard by “an expert curdmaker” based near its Suffolk HQ. So far, Ruddock said that initial response to the curds had been very positive with early listings including the “massive feather in cap” of North West chain Booths, which has also listed the dressings. “Every existing customer who we’ve sent curd samples to has placed an order,” she added. “We seem to have found a way of taking products made at home and scaling them up.

Put the kettle on 2014 is only a few months old but there is already a chest-full of speciality teas hitting the market. MICHAEL LANE rounds them up. Organic specialist Steenbergs has introduced five varieties of non-caffeinated teas, which are hand-blended in its eco-factory in Yorkshire. Its hibiscus tea (80g resealable pouch, RRP £3.15) makes a deep red infusion and has a tart, cranberry-like flavour. Happy Hippy Tea (50g caddy, RRP £4.50) is made with chamomile, rose petals, peppermint and spearmint while double mint (75g caddy, RRP £4.75) is a blend of peppermint and spearmint. The range is completed by South African Honeybush tea (75g, RRP £4.75), which is similar to Redbush, and decaffeinated black tea in a 125g caddy (RRP £4.50)

Northern Ireland’s Suki Tea has expanded its loose leaf tea range with two cocoa-based blends. Dark cocoa tea (cases of 6x100g, £15.60) is a blend of black tea and bitter cocoa kernels for “a distinctively chocolaty cuppa”, while spiced cocoa-chai (6x100g, £28.50) is a “mellow” herbal blend of spices and cocoa, which is also organic and caffeine-free. Both are also sold in 250g foodservice packs for £7.25 and £14.75 respectively.

UK-based start-up Balcony Tea says it is “unlocking the best-kept herbal secrets of the Mediterranean” with its teas blended by a master blender using the area’s native ingredients. It supplies tea in a range of flavours – including Thyme Chai, Med Grey and Vanilla Delight green tea – in both its “silky” pyramid bags and loose formats. Branded boxes of 15 pyramids have a trade price of £3.40-£3.50 (RRP £5.75-£5.95) while 50g bags (trade £3-£3.20, RRP £5.25-£5.45) of loose tea are also available. Balcony also supplies in catering volumes for cafés.

Greek firm Organic Islands has launched the Cube series, a range of organic herb blends cultivated on the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea. Euphoria (lemon balm, thyme, lemon zest), Fantasia (sage, rosemary, orange zest), Nostalgia (lavender and thyme) and Philoxenia (sage and orange zest) can be bought in cases of 36 cubes with trade prices ranging from £4.20 to £4.50 per cube, depending on variety.

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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shelf talk

Looking for suppliers accredited by the Guild of Fine Food? Follow the logo


Top chefs tell CLARE HARGREAVES their deli essentials

Verita Vita boosts range with spreads and sweets

James Wilkins Chef-patron, Wilks, Bristol

Opies pickled walnuts in malt vinegar


Bulgarian vegetable spread and baklava from Jordan are among the new additions to Verita Vita’s line-up of food and drink. The producer-importer has recently launched a four-strong range of luteniza, or vegetable mezze spreads, made to its own recipe from sun ripened Bulgarian tomatoes, roasted red peppers, aubergines and carrots. Grandma’s Style, Home Made Style, Deli Style and Picantina Hot all come in cases of 8 x 195g jars (trade £15, RRP £2.95 each). Verita Vita recommends using the all-natural condiment in sandwiches or as an accompaniment to meat, particularly burgers. The company has also begun importing Jabri artisan baklava and Osh Al Bolbol (Bird’s Nests). Verita Vita says these bite-size pistachio

and filo pastry treats have a better balance of sweetness and crispier texture than similar products. The Jordanian brand’s wares come in 200g boxes (trade £3.45, RRP £4.99) and are sold to the trade in cases of 12 units. The company is also the exclusive UK importer of Masia El Altet extra virgin olive oils, all four of which attained Great Taste awards last year. The High Quality, Premium, Special Selection and High End varieties are all produced from olives grown on a farm to the south of Valencia. All varieties are supplied in cases of 6x500ml glass bottles. RRPs and trade prices start at £15 and £9.95 (per bottle) respectively. Verita Vita also imports olive oils from Morroco and the Greek island of Crete as well as Bulgarian wines and specialities from Spain, including Bellota ham, pastry sweets and patés.

James White introduces new Manic Organic line-up By MICHAEL LANE

James White Drinks has overhauled its Manic Organic range of fruit and vegetable juices to give the products a longer shelf life and new brighter packaging. The Suffolk-based drinks producer’s revamped range features four varieties of not-from-concentrate 100% organic juices – orange & carrot, pear & ginger, apple & cherry

and pineapple & lime – in 25cl PET bottles (wholesale £1.40-£1.80 per bottle). The juices, which are filled at pasteurisation temperature, have a shelf life of nine months and are suitable for ambient storage. The brightly coloured new look for the bottles, created by agency Circus Design, was chosen to maximise shelf presence. “The time is right for a modern contemporary organic range of drinks to take away,” said James White MD Lawrence Mallinson. “Organic food is sometimes marketed in too worthy a fashion. We think it should be fun, taste great and be reasonable value – as well as being ‘responsible’". The newly designed Manic Organic range is available to the trade from this month. manicorganic

I’ve tried various brands of pickled walnuts but these always come out top – the balance of sugar to vinegar is just right. The walnuts are harvested before the shell forms and while they are still green. I use them in a dish that explores the tastes and textures of walnut. I include fresh and pickled walnuts and walnut oil and serve it with walnut bread. I also use the spiced vinegar from the jar to make a jus that I serve with quail. It works really well as the vinegar mix has a flavour all of its own. I buy the walnuts in packs of six 390g pots.

Finocchiata di Montefioralle

This pancetta comes from the Antica Macelleria Falorni, a traditional artisan charcutier, now run by the eighth generation of the same family, based in the heart of Chianti Classico in Tuscany. I buy it through Source Food Hall in Bristol. I slice it wafer thin and it melts over anything you put it on. The fennel comes through really nicely. For instance, I put a few slices on top of my snail tortellini, which I serve with a cured ham jus. I also use it in a turbot dish, in which the fish is cooked in brown butter flavoured with star anise – the star anise goes really nicely with the aniseed in the finocchiata.

Infinity Foods organic French-style lentils

Organic is not always better but with grains and lentils it really does make a difference. These lentils have a flavour and texture that’s far better than many others. They feel cooked but don’t turn mushy. I am currently using them in a squab pigeon dish. I mix them with finely diced confit ginger, yuzu zest and olive oil then sit the pigeon breasts on top. I buy the lentils in a 5kg pack direct from the co-operative.

Valrhona cocoa nibs

Cocoa nibs are dry-roasted pieces of the cocoa bean. They have great flavour and quality and are not as harsh as cocoa powder. I roll my truffles in them. I didn’t previously use Valrhona, as it’s quite expensive, but it does make a noticeable difference. I buy the nibs in 1kg bags from Classic Fine Foods.

St Eadburgha cheese

This organic soft cows’ milk cheese is made at Gorsehill Abbey Farm on the edge of the Vale of Evesham and is named after the saint of the old church in the local town of Broadway. It’s a white rinded cheese similar to a camembert or brie, and is matured for 4-12 weeks. It’s mild and firm when young but gradually develops more flavour and a creamier texture as it ages. You can really taste the flavours of the grass pastures coming through the cheese. The cheeses we serve at the restaurant are all British and this is always the one that gets the most comments. Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


Asparagus season is upon us and Kent’s Kitchen has the perfect, luxurious hollandaise sauce to accompany your asparagus. Quick and simple to make, just add milk, or milk and cream for a richer sauce, heat and whisk until you have the thickness you like and drizzle over you dish.

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April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

C Sa ots w m Ke w old nt ays Fa ’s ra Kit sto yre ng ch ck & es en al . ’s l

The range of Sauce Sensations includes Hollandaise, Peppercorn, Mushroom and Lemon & Dill sauces in 35g pots for four people.

shelf talk what's new


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with specialist flours milled from lentils, chickpeas and corn. The range features lentil, pita and hummus chips (120-140g bags) in a variety of flavours as well as in Chips and Dips format (105g), which also includes a pot of hummus. All of these lines come in cases of six units, which have an RRP of £2.59 each.

Seafood tarlets


Chapman’s has created a three-strong range of seafood tartlets, including a Mediterranean salmon tartlet, which is “packed” with fish in a rich tomato sauce and topped with roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The line-up also includes a salmon, prawn & white wine variety as well as a smoked haddock Florentine tartlet topped with spinach and Le Gruyére cheese. The tartlets are supplied frozen in packs of 2x150g (£4.10) and have a 12-month shelf life.

Greek snacks


Bespoke Foods is now the exclusive UK importer for Greek gluten-free snacking brand Wellaby’s. Launched in January 2014, these bagged snacks are made

Curry paste revamp SHEMIN’S

This range of fresh curry pastes now comes in new packaging featuring a ‘curry in a hurry’ recipe. The gluten- and dairy-free pastes, which come in mild, medium and hot strengths, can be used to make a range of Indian dishes including Jalfrezi, Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka and Vindaloo. Retailers can order mixed cases of 24 pots (trade £2.40, RRP £3.50 each).

This Suffolk startup launched at the beginning of 2014 with a range of handmade cheesecakes, which it supplies frozen for added freshness and increased product life. Flavours include Bakewell, blueberry and Chocoholic’s Delight, topped with brownies. The majority of its 8” cheesecakes (1-1.25kg depending on variety, RRP £18) are baked and provide a maximum of 12 slices each. Founder Emma Plumb is also planning to sell her chocolate brownies as well as Bakewell tarts and lemon drizzle cake.

trading, printing and payment. It can also handle chip and pin payments and can print and scan QR barcodes. The new unit is compatible with MX-Business software, specifically designed for independent retailers.

Lower calorie pies PIEMINISTER

The producer has come up with a range of three pies that contain less than 440 calories each. All three 240g pies (trade £2.50) are lightly baked in a cayenne pepper, poppy seed and Parmesan crust while Pieminister has replaced the top crust with a seed and herb crumb. Kooky Chook (chicken, sweet potato, chilli and coconut), Chickalito (chicken and dry cure ham with shredded courgette and celeriac) and Light as a Feta (butternut squash, sun-dried tomato and feta cheese) can be bought in trade cases of six pies in retail boxes or four pies packaged loose. All pies are made with free range British meat.

Chocolate milk


Spanish drinking chocolate Let’s Chocolaat is now available in the UK from distributor Cotswold Fayre. The drink, which can be drunk cold from the fridge or warm, comes in cases of 6x1litre cartons for £16.45. Each carton has an RRP of £3.85

Steak & kidney pie PAUL’S PIES

The Oxfordshire-based piemaker has created its own take on the classic steak & kidney, dedicated to those that fought in the First World War including the grandfather of Paul’s Pies’ founder Paul Sykes. Ten percent of all profits from the pie will be donated to The Royal British Legion. Launched last month during British Pie Week, each handmade pie weighs 280g and has an RRP of £3.50.

Provencal grain


Gluten-free cakes HONEYBUNS

Having converted its flapjack recipe to gluten-free last year, Dorset bakery Honeybuns has added a third variety to the range. Its “soft, squidgy” fruit flapjack is made with cranberries and sultanas soaked in orange juice and comes in individually wrapped 75g cakes or 1kg catering trays. It has also developed a gluten-free sponge cake flavoured with orange zest and lemon curd, called St Clements, available in the same formats.

Following interest at a cooking demonstration at the France Show, Made in Provence owner Christine Vidal is now supplying Petit Epeautre, a supergrain grown in Haute-Provence. Known locally as the “Caviar of Cereals”, the grain contains four times more magnesium than brown rice and five times the phosphorus in soya, as well as eight amino acids, calcium and fibre. Certified organic and suitable for those with gluten intolerences, Petit Epeautre is available in 500g or 1kg bags. It can be used to accompany meat and fish dishes or in risotto.

Added scales


Weighing and labeling specialist Avery Berkel has a new model in its Xtra range of scales. The XT420 13.3“ is an all-in-one system offering point of sale weighing, Vol.15 Issue 3 April 2014



Badu’s Masala kits, created and inspired by a deep passion for cooking. Containing fresh herbs, roasted dry spices and tomato paste topped with onions and whole Garam Masala, including fragrant bay and curry leaves.

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April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

TRADITIONAL STILL LEMONADE Vigo Open Days 14th & 15th May



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Main Distributor: Bramble Foods of Market Harborough Tel: 01858 461199

Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


shelf talk

When in Chorlton… …do as the Chorltonians do. That’s the approach Ludovic Piot has taken with Epicerie Ludo, a French-style wine and grocery shop re-imagined for the leafy Manchester suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Ludovic Piot was chosen as a local ‘high street hero’ last year for his open-all-hours shop

Deli of the Month INTERVIEW BY mick whitworth


ould Ludovic Piot be the least chauvinistic Frenchman you’ll ever meet? Despite an accent so deliciously thick that it takes me a good half hour to get my ear tuned in, it turns out the Manchester deli owner doesn’t like snails, his best-selling cheese is Barber’s 1833 cheddar – and his best-selling wine an Italian Pinot Grigio. His shop, Epicerie Ludo, sounds French enough, taking its name from his country’s traditional corner grocery and wine stores – but it’s noticeably light on product from his


April 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 3

native land, and he's happy to be what his customers want him to be. I have been steered towards this quietly successful operation in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a Guardianreading, bohemian suburb of Manchester, by Rufus Carter of Patchwork Paté. This, he tells me, is a high street store that is “pushing the boundaries” and proves urban delis can still carve out a distinctive niche. Epicerie Ludo does, indeed, have a distinctive flavour, but what’s surprising about this compact (for which read ‘tiny’) little communitycentred shop is how uncontrived it is. Very much like it’s owner, in fact. Piot is a career retailer – but of wine, not speciality food. His father owned orchards near Paris, but “was more interested in cars than farming”, which may explain why Piot adds: “I’ve never felt like

Yes, this is massproduced, but I've tried artisan bread, and this is much better

a farmer’s son.” He spent most of the Noughties running UK wine shops, mainly in London, for French wine specialist Nicolas. Latterly, he managed an Oddbins in Manchester, and worked briefly at its London HQ before family money enabled him to “give it a go with something more personal”. But he admits to having had no grand scheme when he opened Epicerie Ludo less than three years ago. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” he tells FFD. “To begin with, I thought I would do fine groceries, [ambient] French specialities, where I wouldn’t have to worry about the sell-by dates. “But we opened just before Christmas 2011, with lots of gift-type foods, like the kinds of jams and preserves you would buy just for a Sunday treat, and some people thought we were just a pop-up gift shop for Christmas.” He needed a more everyday range to make the business viable, and gradually bolted on fresh foods and deli items – most importantly, bake-off bread – to turn this from a once-a-week-treat shop to a part of local daily life. Early on, Piot went to a farmers’ market held at a nearby pub and began introducing himself to small producers. “That’s where the fruit and veg, fresh olives and pies came from,” he says, adding: “As soon as you talk to one small supplier on a farmers’ market, everyone soon knows you are there.” Epicerie Ludo’s corner site on Chorlton’s Beech Road was formerly a Wine Rack, and had been vacant for two years. Those were two reasons why he didn’t originally want to major on wine.“I wanted a change,” he adds, “and also it’s a lot of money to tie up in stock. “But when I introduced myself to other shop owners around here, they said, ‘People are still looking for wine, because there’s no other proper wine shop in the village’. More than a fifth of the shop’s wall space is now devoted to wines, spirits and craft beers, and given Piot’s background you might expect him to have scoured France for boutique producers. But while he doesn’t stock any supermarket brands, he says buying direct from winemakers is impractical for a store this size. “I’ve still got two French suppliers I deal with direct, but you have to pay in euros and you need to order huge amounts to make it work. “On the food side, while I do use wholesalers, I have around 115 direct suppliers because I think it’s important to put a face to the products. But with wine it’s different: it’s made so much more complicated by duties and delivery costs.” When we sit in front of the PC in his tiny back office (which doubles as a bake-off kitchen and store), Piot

products, promotions & people French cheeses, saucisson and the inevitable garlic sit alongside many local products, including a strong selection of craft ales

pulls up a spreadsheet that shows wine is prominent in his best-selling products by volume. Interestingly, there are no French varieties at the top of the list. It’s a relatively cheap GPG Pinot Grigio that is Epicerie Ludo’s second biggest selling line overall, with some shoppers buying several bottles a day. “Our cheapest bottle is £6.49. We do get people thinking it should be £3.99, but they don’t realise that, in terms of quality, we are much cheaper like-for-like than supermarkets.” At last month’s Deli of the Month, Rhug Estate farm shop in North Wales, MD Jon Andrews told me the shop had grown wine sales by starting with entry-level bottles in the £7 region, building trust among shoppers and then gradually introducing more mid- to high-end options. Similarly, Piot

says that stocking familiar, low-end Argentinian Malbecs brings people in day to day, and he can then move them on to slightly higher-priced wines from across the Channel. Nonetheless, his first French wine only appears at number 11 on the sales chart (Cotes du Rhone Village Les Gateaux) and it is lower down the ranks that an Italian fizz: Lunetta Prosecco Spumante. “Prosecco is much better for us than Champagne,” the Frenchman tells FFD. “There aren’t many people drinking Champagne here now, except for special occasions. It’s far too expensive.” Things might have been different back at Nicolas in London, but then, the capital is not only full of well-heeled Brits but, as the BBC has pointed out, its huge ex-pat French population makes it “France’s sixth

“So yes, it’s mass-produced. But I tried artisan bread, and this is much better. “It’s the same in France: a lot of bread is not good, especially in the country where they don’t have enough demand.” He has been careful to sift out the better Delice lines, and he and his team have got better at the bake-off process. “And it works,” he tells me, with the Parisien baguette now Epicerie Ludo’s number one line. The factory-made bread is nicely offset by shop-made brownies, loose macaroons from the Little French Cakery in Cheshire, and locally made pies that include the bespoke Touludo pie, made weekly using Toulouse sausage supplied to the baker by Epicerie Ludo. Customers are clearly happy. Piot has embedded himself in the community – for example by introducing the local charity-linked TAG! loyalty card scheme from day one – and many shoppers now visit two or three times a day, contributing to a well-above-average £417,000 turnover last year. Last November Epicerie Ludo achieved a full-page feature in the Manchester Evening News after being voted a “hero of the high street” in a campaign linked to Small Business Saturday. The store is open seven days a week until at least 9pm, and Piot tells me: “That’s one of the things people said they liked when they voted for us. “I’m a grocer when people want me to be a grocer, an off-licence for people that want that, but most of the time I would like to be a convenience store, and that’s what we are.”

biggest city”. “In London there are lots of Francophiles, and it’s not that far from Paris,” says Piot, “so there are lots more places you can buy French products. In Manchester, there was really no-one doing it, except maybe Harvey Nichols. Now there’s Patisserie Valerie but – much as I respect them – they are not French at all.” So Epicerie Ludo might have been the chance to deliver the full Continental experience. But Piot says he never wanted to go overboard with his French range – it has been more a question of meeting shoppers’ more obvious expectations. There is always fresh garlic on sale, a variety of saucisson, loose in baskets, and – compulsory in an ‘epicerie’ – a selection of French spices. And snails, of course.“Personally I don’t like them, but it’s what people want.” The most French-leaning section is cheese, which, given the size of the store, is stocked in upright wall cabinets, not a serveover. Some comes from Borough Market-based Une Normande a Londres, the shop’s main wholesaler of French groceries, but the bulk is from Carron Lodge. “Once we brought in more wine, people started saying, ‘We need cheese, we need baguettes...’, says Piot, which brings us, awkwardly, too his biggest selling line. “Originally, I didn’t want to do bread. I’m not a baker, and Barbakan deli, on the other side of Chorlton, has its own bakery. But we had tried fruit and veg to bring people in every day and it hadn’t worked – we couldn’t find a good farm to partner with, TOCKS and there was a do’S MUST-S u l ie r e ic p e lot of waste. So we n baguette ance Parisie Delice de Fr expanded into bread rigio instead.” GPG Pinot G e brownies He tried a local esh chocolat fr Shop-made Polish baker, then te ecco Spuman another artisan bakery, Lunetta Pros ts an ss ance croi and neither could Delice de Fr provide daily deliveries Shiraz Cape Heights or consistent quality. macaroons Cakery loose “So we had the idea Little French gles truffles Monty Bojan of doing frozen bread, e organic baked on demand, so if Grumpy Mul ffee beans someone phoned in the Colombian co & Butler afternoon and said ‘Can Cartwright armalade m I have a loaf?’ we can n red onio bake it while they drive over.” Bacon Jam ic dressing And his supplier? sweet balsam Little Doone “I’m not proud of it, but French Wessex Mill it’s Delice de France,” ur flo d brea he says, with a sheepish urself grin. “It’s not artisan. Dough It Yo bases chilled pizza But I don’t want to lie – 33 maybe because I’m a good Barber’s 18 Catholic and I’d feel guilty cheddar forever! Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014


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Vol.15 Issue 3 · April 2014



April 2014 路 Vol.15 Issue 3

Profile for Guild of Fine Food

FFD April 2014  

FFD April 2014